In hopes of getting more residents vaccinated against COVID-19, West Virginia is planning to give everyone who enrolls for a vaccine the chance to win multiple prizes — including cash, trucks, scholarships and guns.
Starting June 20th, West Virginia will start giving out prizes to people who sign up to get their COVID-19 vaccine. The last week of prizes will be August 4th.
The biggest single cash prize will be $1.6 million.
Other prizes include two scholarships for people between the ages of 14 to 25, fishing licenses, weekend getaways, hunting rifles and hunting shotguns.
“The prizes to me are secondary to the fact that we’re trying to save your life,” said Jim Justice, the Republican governor of the state.
“All of our hospitalizations, all of all our ICU units, all of our deaths, for the most part, are all people that have not been vaccinated. I don’t know how it gets any simpler than that.”
Justice is making a strong case for the effectiveness of the shot.
“These vaccinations are amazingly safe and they’ll protect you — I don’t know how in the world people are sitting on the sidelines still saying, no, I’m not going to do one, I’m not going to do it,” Justice said.
Vaccinations in West Virginia kicked off strongly once they were available.
During April, the governor offered a $100 savings bond to people who enrolled between the ages of 16 to 35. The immunization rates have drastically slowed, however, as the months have progressed.
Currently, just over 51% of the population in West Virginia has received at least one shot.
West Virginia joins other states who have been rewarding reluctant residents in order to get them inoculated.
July 4 goal
Ohio, California, Colorado, Maryland and New York have been some of the states who’ve provided cash prizes to residents.
The CDC reports that about 40% of the US population has been fully inoculated.
The Biden administration wants to have 70% of the total U.S. population vaccinated by July 4th.