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West Virginia: $100 savings bond to residents age 16 to 35 who choose to get vaccinated

Christian Fernsby |
Governor Jim Justice announced that as part of his ongoing initiative to get more younger residents vaccinated, West Virginia will begin offering a $100 savings bond to each person from 16 to 35 years old who chooses to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Topics: WEST VIRGINIA   

“We have vetted this in every way that we possibly can to be assured that we can use our CARES dollars to do exactly just this,” Gov. Justice said.

The incentive will be retroactive, meaning all West Virginians age 16 to 35 who have already been vaccinated will also receive a $100 savings bond.

“Our kids today probably don’t really realize just how important they are in shutting this thing down,” Gov. Justice said. “I’m trying to come up with a way that’s truly going to motivate them – and us – to get over the hump.”

The Governor went on to say that the goal is to get over 70% of West Virginia's eligible population vaccinated. Of the 1.47 million West Virginians who are currently eligible, just 52% have received at least one dose to date, with demand for vaccines dipping in recent weeks.

The Governor noted that there remains plenty of room to increase vaccination totals among West Virginia’s 380,000 16-to-35-year-old residents.

“They’re not taking vaccines as fast as we’d like them to take them,” Gov. Justice said. “If we really want to move the needle, we’ve got to get our younger people vaccinated.”

The Governor added that if approximately 80% of West Virginians age 16 to 35 who have not yet been vaccinated choose to do so, the overall statewide vaccination rate will exceed 70% of the eligible population.

“If we can get to 70%, we’ll shut this virus down,” Gov. Justice said. “If we do that, the masks go away, the hospitalizations go away, and the deaths become minimal.”

Additional information about the initiative will be provided as it becomes available.

Gov. Justice announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be made available to anyone age 16 or older attending the West Virginia girls and boys state basketball tournaments at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center.

This clinic will be administered by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

“Anyone can be vaccinated at the tournament, but if you’re 16 to 35 years old and you get your shot, we’ll take your information and we’ll be mailing you your savings bond very promptly,” Gov. Justice said. “I thank Dr. Sherri Young and the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department for their great work, and I really appreciate them stepping up to do this.”

Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia has resumed administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in West Virginia and nationwide was paused two weeks ago upon the recommendation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) out of an abundance of caution.

Gov. Justice announced that according to the most complete, up-to-date data on West Virginia’s vaccine distribution – gathered by the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) and WVU using new methodology in collaboration with the White House and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – West Virginia has now successfully administered 1,342,819 total doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Of 1,474,615 eligible West Virginians, 767,083 (52.0%) have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 603,159 (40.9%) have been fully vaccinated.

Vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians age 16 and older. However, West Virginians who are age 65 and older will continue to be prioritized first until all state residents in this age range who desire the vaccine have been vaccinated.

Of the 367,011 West Virginians age 65 and older, 287,498 (78.3%) have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 251,358 (68.5%) have been fully vaccinated.

At the Governor’s direction, the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) has established three fixed-location vaccination clinics in Berkeley, Kanawha, and Monongalia counties to ensure that every West Virginian age 65 and older has access to a vaccine.

All West Virginians age 65 and older are urged to pre-register for an appointment.

Vaccinations also continue to be made available at Walgreens locations, the Med Shoppe/Leader network of pharmacies, Walmart locations, and additional independent pharmacies throughout the state as part of the federal pharmacy partnership in West Virginia.


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