CHARLESTON — During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced the deadline for West Virginians to apply to receive a $150 school voucher through the Healthy Grandfamilies vaccination incentive program is Dec. 15.
“If you’re a part of a grandfamily, you need to apply,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s a great program. It’s a $150 school voucher for our kids that really need it. We’re saving our wisdom and saving our future.”
According to a news release from the governor’s office, the Healthy Grandfamilies vaccination incentive program offers a $150 voucher for school supplies to all vaccinated grandfamilies in West Virginia – families where grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.
To qualify, all vaccine-eligible members of the grandfamily, including grandparents and grandchildren ages 5 and older, must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The family must also be enrolled in West Virginia State University’s Healthy Grandfamilies program. Enroll at healthygrandfamilies.com.
Healthy Grandfamilies, which provides information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren, is assisting in the administration of the school voucher incentive. According to the organization, about 19,000 West Virginia children live in households with a grandparent or grandparents as their primary caregiver.
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reminded all West Virginians that online registration remains open for the third round of the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” vaccination sweepstakes.
Do it for Babydog: Round 3 is focused on educating children and their parents on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine and the importance of getting West Virginia’s youngest residents vaccinated.
This round of the sweepstakes 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 begins this week, 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.
Gov. Justice yet again encouraged all West Virginians to determine if they qualify for a booster dose and then immediately get one if they are eligible.
There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
Per the latest CDC recommendations, individuals who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster shot if it has been at least six months since they completed their initial series of shots and they fall into at least one of the following groups:
65 years and older;
Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings;
Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings;
Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions;
For individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
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.
Gov. Justice also took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to honor the 75 lives that were lost in the infamous Marshall University football team plane crash of Nov. 14, 1970.
Sunday marked the 51st anniversary of the tragic accident, which occurred while Gov. Justice was a student attending Marshall.
“I was in the dorm at Marshall when it happened. All of a sudden, so many friends were lost. It was a tragedy beyond belief – the worst sports tragedy that has ever happened in the history of this country,” Gov. Justice said. “I would ask all West Virginians to please remember Marshall and all those great people we lost on that day in your prayers.”
Gov. Justice also offered his prayers and condolences for the passing Saturday of pro football Hall of Famer and West Virginia native Sam Huff.
Huff, who was 87, was raised in Marion County. He played for West Virginia University in the mid-50’s, before being drafted to play in the NFL by the New York Giants and later playing in Washington D.C.
Gov. Justice also offered his condolences to another famous West Virginian who passed away over the weekend: Bertha May “Buddie” Curnutte.
Curnutte, who was 97 and lived in St. Albans, was one of the last surviving “Rosie the Riveters” from the World War II era.
When the war started, Curnutte volunteered to work at the Curtis Wright Airplane Factory. She worked as a riveter on the Kitty Hawk Aircraft Carrier for several years.
The women worked in pairs on the Kitty Hawk airplanes; one a riveter and one a bucker. She worked on one part of the wing assembly. After several years working as a riveter, Buddie joined the Coast Guard.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.