(Epoch Times) – West Virginia is encouraging its younger residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine by offering them a $100 savings bond if they choose to get inoculated.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, on Monday announced that vaccinated residents aged 16 to 35 would qualify for the savings bonds, which are to be paid for with money from the CARES Act, last year’s pandemic relief package.
“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,” Justice said at a press conference in Charleston.
The governor said vaccine uptake among West Virginians—especially younger ones—is lower than health officials would like.
“Kids 16 all the way up to 35 years of age are having a real transmission issue with this disease,” Justice said. “Our kids today probably don’t really realize just how important they are in shutting this thing down,” he added.
Justice said that if around 80 percent of West Virginia’s 380,000 residents who fall into the 16 to 35 age bracket choose to get the vaccine, the overall statewide vaccination rate will exceed 70 percent of the eligible population.
“They’re not taking vaccines as fast as we’d like them to take them,” Justice said. “If we really want to move the needle, we’ve got to get our younger people vaccinated.”
Justice said that, of the 1.47 million West Virginians who are currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, 52 percent have received at least one dose to date, with demand for vaccines dipping in recent weeks. This is well below the goal of a 70 percent vaccination rate among West Virginia residents, he added.
“If we can get to 70 percent, we’ll shut this virus down,” he said. “If we do that, the masks go away, the hospitalizations go away, and the deaths become minimal.” Read Full Article >