MM Curator summary
Medicaid members in Ohio are getting vaxxed at less than half the rate of non-Medicaid members.
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A combination of factors is keeping enrollees from getting vaccinated, even with states offering big-money incentives
The reasons why vaccination is lower among Medicaid beneficiaries are complex but could include economic barriers such as less flexible work schedules as well as a lack of access to transportation and child care. (Stephen Zenner/Getty Images file photo)
Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine announced in May that COVID-19 vaccine uptake among Medicaid enrollees was 22 percent, compared with 45 percent of Ohioans overall — despite recent headlines about new incentives to get a shot, including a statewide $1 million lottery.
“Obviously, that’s not a number we’re happy with,” said DeWine. “We must get these numbers up. It’s simply unacceptable.”
Health inequities were brought to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic, amplified by socioeconomic barriers. Now, as the supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States remains stable and eligibility has been extended to almost all Americans, local data shows that Medicaid beneficiaries are getting vaccinated at lower rates than the general population.
This worries experts because the nation’s poorest individuals have historically faced worse health outcomes, including shorter life expectancy.
The reasons why vaccination is lower for this population are complex but could include economic barriers like lack of access to transportation and child care or less flexible work schedules.