Registration open for latest vaccination sweepstakes

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced registration would open Tuesday, Nov. 9, for a third round of the ​​“Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” vaccination sweepstakes, as the state continues to push the importance of vaccination to the younger population, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“We’re going to be focusing on our kids, especially those that are 5 to 11 years old, but also those up to 18 years of age,” Gov. Justice said.

Last week, the CDC officially recommended Pfizer-BioNTech’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for use by children ages 5-11.

“This is our campaign to try to do something to incentivize our youngest, with parental approval of course, to get vaccinated,” Gov. Justice said.

“Do it for Babydog: Round 3” is open to all West Virginians, ages 5-18, who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Children ages 5-17 must have parental consent to be vaccinated and to register.

This round of the sweepstakes will feature four weeks of prize giveaways.

The giveaway schedule will begin the week of Nov. 15, before taking a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday. Giveaways will resume the week of Nov. 29 and continue through the week of Dec. 6 and the week of Dec. 13.

The giveaway will include the following prizes each week:

25 Prizes of a $10,000 Educational Savings Fund;

100 Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Licenses;

1 Grand Prize Educational Savings Fund for a student;

1 Grand Prize check and party for a school;

Grand Prizes

Weeks 1-3

Student: One student per week will receive a $50,000 Educational Savings Fund.

School: One school per week will receive a $50,000 check and will host a party with Gov. Justice and Babydog. These events will include an on-site vaccine clinic and opening remarks by a doctor to talk about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

Week 4

Student: One student will receive a $100,000 Educational Savings Fund.

School: One school will receive a $100,000 check and will host a special holiday party with Santa (Gov. Justice) and his reindeer (Babydog) bringing presents for students. This event will also include an on-site vaccine clinic and opening remarks by a doctor to talk about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

The Educational Savings Fund prizes will be in the form of a 529 plan, managed by the State Treasurer’s Office, which will be invested and grow over time. The fund can be used for any educational-related expenses, not just higher education.

Those who previously registered for Round 1 and/or Round 2 of the vaccination sweepstakes are required to register again to be eligible for Round 3.

Register online at

Also on Monday, Gov. Justice was joined in-person by State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh, who noted “the significant gap between the number of West Virginians who have only received their initial series of COVID-19 vaccination shots versus those who have more recently received a booster shot,” according to the news release.

“We’ve had about 550,000 or so West Virginians over 50 years old who’ve been fully vaccinated, but only about 45,000 third doses – booster doses – that have been given. That is a big difference,” Dr. Marsh said. “We know that people that have been vaccinated over six months ago, particularly people over 50 years old, don’t have nearly the same immune protection as they did immediately after their vaccines and over the first two to four months.

“So we really implore everybody who is six months out from your second vaccine if you got Pfizer or Moderna, or two months out if you got Johnson & Johnson, to please get a booster,” Dr. Marsh continued. “We need you to be fully immune to reduce the spread of COVID 19 in West Virginia.”

“That should be the headline of every news story,” Gov. Justice said. “If you’ve only gotten two doses of the vaccine, and you’re six months out from your last dose, it’s almost no value. So what does that tell you? You better run to get your booster shot.

“If you’re worried about getting your booster shot from the standpoint that you may feel a little bit funky for a day or so, do you realize what the people who are lying in an ICU unit in our hospitals would give, right this moment, to have have a choice of getting a shot and maybe, for a day or two, feel a little bit strange,” Gov. Justice continued. “I sit here and read name after name of people who would give anything to have the chance that you have, right now, to get your shot.”

During his remarks, Dr. Marsh added that the latest medical data is now indicating that up to 85-90% of people would need to be vaccinated in order to avoid COVID-19 becoming endemic; something that resurfaces every year.

“We are still far away from that number in West Virginia and in this country, so it’s really critical that people take the right precautions,” Dr. Marsh said. “Get tested if you’re sick, consider wearing a mask indoors if you’re vulnerable. But please get your booster dose, or your primary and secondary dose of the vaccine. That’s the way we’ll get out of this.”

Per the CDC, eligible individuals now may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

If you are eligible for the booster shot, you can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with your vaccination card to receive the booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.

Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.

Staff Report