CHARLESTON — During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice provided additional details on his new vaccine incentive lottery that will begin on June 20 and run through Aug. 4.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, the giveaway will include a $1.588 million grand prize, a $588,000 second prize, full scholarships to any higher education institution in West Virginia, custom-outfitted trucks, weekend vacations at state parks, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, custom hunting rifles and custom hunting shotguns.
Gov. Justice said the push to get more West Virginians vaccinated is crucial in not only saving lives, but saving the state from the financial impact of continued hospitalizations and prolonged vaccine clinics.
“The faster we get people across the finish line the more lives we save. That’s all there is to it,” Gov. Justice said. “If the tab just keeps running the cost is enormous. The hospitalizations are enormous. We have to get all of our folks across the finish line.”
West Virginians who have been fully vaccinated will need to register to be entered to win the prizes. A registration website will soon be available and will be announced by the Governor at a press briefing.
As part of the Governor’s “Call to Arms” vaccine initiative, State COVID-19 pandemic response leaders set goals of vaccinating 65% of all eligible West Virginians, 75% of West Virginians age 50 and older, and 85% of West Virginians age 65 and older with at least one dose by West Virginia’s 158th birthday on June 20, 2021; the same day that the Governor plans to lift the Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement for all residents.
Gov. Justice announced Tuesday that as of this morning a total of 75% of West Virginians 50 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, hitting the goal a full 19 days ahead of schedule.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that once again West Virginia’s general revenue collections came in above estimates.
The month of May 2021 came in with a $152.2 million surplus, despite the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the state’s economy. Year-to-date, general revenue collections are $389.6 million above estimates.
“This is so profound,” said Gov. Justice. “This should be the number one thing that we are carrying through the streets by reporting the health and goodness that is going on in West Virginia.”
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder of his recent announcement that online registration is now open for his “Beat 588…Bad” West Virginia Strong Vaccine Incentive Program.
All West Virginians ages 16-35 who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are now able to register online to receive either a $100 savings bond or a $100 gift card.
The $100 incentive is retroactive, meaning all West Virginians ages 16-35 who have received the COVID-19 vaccine at any point are eligible.
Since registration first opened, a grand total of 20,527 registrations have been submitted.
Gov. Justice recently modified West Virginia’s face covering requirement to align with updated CDC guidance, which says that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.
The lifting of the face covering requirement only applies to those who have been fully vaccinated; meaning that at least two weeks have elapsed since the administration of a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or that at least two weeks have elapsed since the administration of a first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement is still in effect for all West Virginians who are not yet fully vaccinated, and will remain in effect for these individuals until June 20.
Face coverings must still be worn where required by federal law. Additionally, any private business or school system can still require individuals to wear a face covering.
According to the CDC, currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others.
COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians ages 12 and older.
All West Virginians interested in being vaccinated are urged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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 visit vaccines.gov for assistance in locating and securing an appointment at one of these federal pharmacy partners.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.