CHARLESTON — During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced that more than 1 million West Virginians have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, to date, 1,005,135 West Virginians have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 836,954 West Virginians have been fully vaccinated.
“This is a huge milestone that we’ve hit,” Gov. Justice said. “You have done a whale of a job, West Virginia, and it’s because all of us have been pulling the rope together.”
The governor added: “I congratulate everyone who has played a role in getting us to this point. But we still have more work to do to get all of our residents vaccinated.”
The Governor went on to announce that, West Virginia’s COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team is establishing new vaccination goals for the state’s wisest populations.
These new goals include vaccinating at least 90% of all West Virginians ages 65 and older with at least one dose and vaccinating at least 85% of all West Virginians ages 50 and older with at least one dose.
“There’s a thing in athletics where you always want to raise the bar,” Gov. Justice said. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Currently, 87.3% of West Virginians ages 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 79.4% of West Virginians ages 50 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“At first, we hoped like crazy we could get to 70% of our 65 and older population,” Gov. Justice said. “Then, all of a sudden, 75% became attainable, then 80%, then even 85%. It’s unbelievable. No one would have thought originally that would have been possible.
“Now we need to keep going,” Gov. Justice continued.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the 3rd round of prize winners through the “Do it for Babydog” Vaccination Sweepstakes will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, July 7.
Over 333,000 West Virginians have registered for the sweepstakes to date.
While the registration deadline to be eligible to win in the July 7 prize drawing has passed, all vaccinated West Virginians are still able and encouraged to register for future drawings at DoitforBabydog.wv.gov for an opportunity to join the list of winners.
If you cannot access DoItForBabyDog.wv.gov, you may call the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 1-833-734-0965. The Info Line is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It’s absolutely a big deal. We’re going to change the lives of several people. It’s going to be wonderful,” Gov. Justice said. “If you’re vaccinated, all you’ve got to do is register. It takes just one minute to do so.
“For those folks who haven’t been vaccinated, they’re in a lottery too. I just read four people that we’ve lost from COVID,” Gov. Justice continued. “There’s no sense in the world to not get vaccinated. It’s a tremendous risk.”
Additional prize drawings will be held every Wednesday through Aug. 4.
The final drawing will include a $1.588 million grand prize and a $588,000 second prize in addition to all the weekly prizes listed above.
Free COVID-19 vaccinations are available to all West Virginians ages 12 and older.
All West Virginians who have received one dose of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines need to remember to get their second dose as well to ensure maximum protection against COVID-19.
In addition to clinic locations, vaccinations 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.
West Virginians can also visit Vaccines.gov for assistance in locating and securing an appointment.
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce the availability of reduced-price lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for kids ages 15 and younger through a new tiered pricing program.
The regular price of a lifetime hunting and fishing license is $805. Under the new pricing tier system, lifetime licenses for kids age 15 and younger are priced as follows:
Before 1st birthday: $322 (60% off);
Before 5th birthday: $442.75 (45% off);
Before 10th birthday: $603.75 (25% off);
Before 15th birthday: $724.50 (10% off).
“The more and more kids that we can get out and enjoying the outdoors, the better,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s a great, great bargain. It will spark a lifetime love of the outdoors and create so many memories…”
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.