Final Vax-a-Million winner: Risk of COVID greater than vaccine

A Cincinnati woman who was Ohio’s final $1 million dollar Vax-a-Million winner said she initially had concerns about reacting to the COVID-19 vaccine, but decided it was worth taking.

“I was hesitating a little bit because sometimes I have food allergies, but I decided the risk of getting COVID was worse than the risk of the vaccine,” said Experanza Diaz. “So I decided to get it.”

Diaz got the Pfizer vaccine and didn’t have any side effects.

Jennifer Daum, mother of the full scholarship winner Sydney Daum, said her and her husband were waiting to get their daughter vaccinated.

“We were always planning to get her vaccinated, but we were going to wait later in the summer to have her fully vaccinated by the time school started,” said Jennifer. “When [Gov. Mike DeWine] announced Vax-a-Million we thought this would be a good time to do it now, and we did, and we can’t believe it paid off.”

While Sydney plans to go to college, she hasn’t yet considered which schools she’d like to attend.

Diaz plans to use the money to help her family.

For the final drawing 3,469,542 adults signed up for the $1 million drawing and 154,889 youth registered for the scholarship.

DeWine called the initiative a “big success.” In the week before announcing the campaign, 92,365 people got the vaccine. The following week, 187,238 people were vaccinated, he said.

Though Vax-a-Million is over, Ohio is working on additional incentives to encourage residents to get vaccinated.

While the governor didn’t announce any new initiatives, he hinted that the next program could include smaller, but more prizes.

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