UPDATED 8:13 AM PT – Thursday, June 3, 2021
West Virginia has proposed to offer several incentives, such as guns and money, for residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice (R-W.Va.) announced a lottery style giveaway to West Virginians ages 12 and up who have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Prizes may include $1 million payouts, custom shotguns and rifles, and lifetime hunting and fishing licenses in the state.
Justice touted his state’s path to herd immunity as nearly 60 percent of residents have received their first dose.
“I remind you over and over if you’re 65 years of age and older and you feel the least bit bad, please go get a test,” he suggested. “It’s simple as it can be and it very well could save your life.”
ICYMI: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has made his dog “babydog” the mascot of the state’s new vaccine lottery.
“She wants you vaccinated SO badly” pic.twitter.com/rTdtO7amb1
— Haleigh Hoffman (@HaleighHoffman) May 28, 2021
West Virginia has recently seen milestones in its COVID-19 vaccination goals. The state is aiming for 85 percent of those aged 65 and older to become vaccinated while also trying to reach 75 percent by June 20 for individuals aged over 50. On Tuesday, they reached their goal for ages 50 and older while being one percent short of the target for those aged above 65. It is reported that about 600,000 West Virginians are fully vaccinated from COVID-19.
Drawings for the giveaway are expected to begin June 20 and will continue through August 4. The Republican governor also encouraged all parents to get their kids aged 12 and older vaccinated. The state is offering more incentives for those that fall within the 16 to 35 age bracket.
“For those 16 to 35 they’ll be receiving either a gift card or a savings bond of their option for 100 bucks,” Justice explained. “We need to keep on pouring it on there to try and get them vaccinated.”
Justice reminded residents they will not be eligible unless they receive a shot and entrance into the giveaway is not automatic. The state is currently working on creating a website where people can register.