CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Gov. Jim Justice announced his intent Monday to provide younger residents with a $100 savings bond for taking action to help West Virginia reach its goal of vaccinating at least 70% of its adult population against the coronavirus.
“I’m stepping up and calling on all of our young people 16-to-35 to accept this savings bond. I hope you will keep it for a very long time,” Justice said during a news conference.
According to WTRF, Justice intends to give every resident in the specified age group who gets vaccinated a $100 savings bond, including those who have already begun the process.
“We can use CARES dollars to do exactly just this,” Justice said during the news conference, referencing the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Justice said about 52% of the state’s eligible population, or more than 700,000 residents, have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, WCHS reported.
The governor also noted that there are roughly 380,000 residents between the ages of 16 and 35, meaning that if 78% of that group receives the vaccine, then slightly more than 1 million residents, or roughly 71% of the state’s eligible population, would be vaccinated, the TV station reported.
It was not immediately clear how many residents in the specified age group have already been vaccinated.
Justice also outlined several other recommendations he has received to bolster vaccination rates statewide, including opening highly visible clinics in front of schools, utilizing a program like “Meals On Wheels” to vaccinate largely homebound portions of the population and paying pharmacies to extend hours of operation, WTRF reported.
“I’m telling you, West Virginia, it’s time to shut this thing down” unless state residents want COVID-19 to “linger forever,” he stated.
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