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West Virginia’s COVID vaccine incentives include weapons, trucks and cash

West Virginia is increasing its incentives to encourage residents get vaccinated towards COVID-19, with the state later this month beginning weekly lottery drawings providing cash, trucks, weapons and scholarships to those that’ve obtained a minimum of one immunization shot. 

Starting June 20, West Virginia will give out $1 million and different prizes every week up till Aug. 4, when two grand prizes of almost $1.6 million and $580,000 can be introduced, in response to state officers. 

Other prizes include two new custom-outfitted trucks, 25 weekend getaways to native state parks, 5 lifetime looking and fishing licenses, 5 {custom} looking rifles and 5 {custom} looking shotguns. Two full four-year scholarships to any establishment in West Virginia can even be awarded to vaccinated 12- to 25-year-olds.

“The prizes to me are secondary to the fact that we’re trying to save your life,” West Virginia Governor Jim Justice informed a Tuesday news conference at which he detailed the blitz of coming incentives and made an impassioned case for getting vaccinated.

“All of our hospitalizations, all of all our 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,” the Republican governor mentioned. 

“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 proceed. “Then they go off and they travel, and then there is absolutely what I would say is a lot of ‘sad singing and slow walking,’ and that’s what goes on at a funeral.”

Acknowledging that some would possibly question the observe of primarily bribing individuals to get immunized towards a lethal virus, the governor indicated that logic dictates he do no matter works. 

“If you step back and think, now why in the world would you have to give away something to get somebody vaccinated. Unfortunately it’s the way of the world in a lot of situations,” Justice mirrored. “The faster we get them across the finish line, the more lives we save.” 

The state additionally has a monetary incentive to get extra resident vaccinated. “If the tab just keeps running, the cost is enormous, the testing costs are enormous, the hospital costs are enormous,” he mentioned.

All West Virginians who’ve obtained one immunization shot are eligible, however should register to enter the lottery. 

The state continues to supply the selection of a $100 present card or $100 financial savings bond to these between ages 16 and 35 as a part of an effort unveiled in late April to persuade youthful residents to roll up their sleeves. 

The lottery has West Virginia becoming a member of different states and companies making an attempt to provide hesitant Americans a cause to get vaccinated towards a virus that has killed almost 600,000 Americans. Kroger, the nation’s greatest grocery store chain, final week mentioned it will  give $1 million to 5 clients and free groceries for a year to a different 50 to encourage extra Americans to get vaccinated. 

Ohio just lately reported a spike within the rely of these getting vaccinated after its governor mentioned the state would award $1 million to 5 vaccinated residents, prompting West Virginia’s Justice to quip about one of many states bordering his: “I can’t stand for Ohio to be ahead of us in anything.”

Nearly 2,800 West Virginians have died of COVID, with 5 individuals dying of the an infection since final Thursday, and 571 new optimistic circumstances reported within the state within the final 24 hours, the governor relayed. West Virginia’s day by day positivity rate is 4%, with 4,550 energetic circumstances, the state’s lowest rely since Oct. 27, 2020. “The good numbers are driven from the standpoint of we continue to get people vaccinated,” Justice

Of the 207 West Virginians presently hospitalized with the virus, 81 are in intensive care, and most likely, none had been vaccinated, Justice mentioned. The similar might be mentioned for many who’ve died, he added. Knowing all that, “why would I take a chance with my family or myself?”

As of Tuesday, 75% of West Virginians 50 and older had obtained a minimum of one shot, and 58.7% of eligible residents had obtained their first shot. Recent outbreaks had 14 nursing house residents turning into ailing with COVID, all of them unvaccinated, in response to the state’s chief coronavirus well being official, Dr. Clay Marsh.