Roll up your sleeve and get paid: West Virginia is offering young people $100 to get vaccinated
- Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday the state will give everyone between the ages of 16 and 35 who gets a COVID vaccine a $100 savings bond
- The initiative would work retroactively as well to provide those who have already been vaccinated with $100
- The money would come from the federal CARES Act fund
- Vaccination rates among young people in the state have slowed in recent weeks with just 31 per cent of the demographic getting vaccinated
- Justice’s goal is to get 70 percent of the state’s eligible population vaccinated
West Virginia is offering young people $100 to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The state is hoping the savings bond will entice people aged between 16 and 35, who are responsible for more than a quarter of cases despite making up just 21 per cent of the population, to get their shot.
The demographic has been eligible to get the vaccine since March but has been comparatively slow in getting inoculated with just 31 per cent of 16 to 35-year-olds receiving the shot. So far, half of West Virginia’s 1.8 million residents have received at least one shot.
In a press briefing on Monday, Gov. Jim Justice said he is aiming to get more than 70 percent of the state’s eligible population vaccinated, which he could exceed if about 80 percent of the state’s 380,000 16 to 35-year-olds get vaccinated.
‘If we really want to move the needle, we’ve got to get our young people vaccinated,’ he said, noting they are ‘not taking vaccines as fast as we’d like them to take them.’
‘Our kids today probably don’t really realize just how important they are in shutting this thing down,’ Justice said. ‘I’m trying to come up with a way that’s going to motivate them – and us – to get over the hump.’
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Anyone between the ages of 16 and 35 who rolls up their sleeves and gets a COVID vaccine in the state of West Virginia will receive $100. A young woman receives her first dose
The vaccination rate among young people in West Virginia has slowed, data from its Department of Health and Human Resources shows
Justice said that the state would use funds from the federal CARES Act to provide every resident between the ages of 16 and 35 who ‘steps up and take their vaccinates’ with a $100 savings bond.
Those who have already gotten their COVID vaccines, Justice said, will also get a $100 savings bond retroactively.
West Virginia has one of the strongest starts during the vaccine rollouts and managed to vaccinate such a large percentage of its population by February, that if it was a country, it was have ranked the third best in the world, according to NPR.
The state now ranks 29th in the country in its vaccine rollout, with just 29 percent of the population fully vaccinated and 35.3 percent have had at least one dose.
More than 30 school outbreaks had been reported by Monday, according to NPR, many of which have been tied to extracurricular activities and social events.
The percentage of Americans vaccinated as of Wednesday
The rate has been higher among residents in the older generations, Justice said, with more than 78 percent of people in the older age groups receiving at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 68.5 percent being fully vaccinated.
The number of cases and deaths nationwide as of Wednesday
But of the total population eligible for the vaccine, Justice said, just 52 percent had received at least one dose as of Monday.
‘If we can get to 70 percent, we’ll shut this down,’ Justice said. ‘If we do that, the masks go away, the hospitalizations go away and the deaths become minimal.’
Justice has been briefing residents with updated lists of COVID victims since the pandemic began last year.
As of Wednesday, the state has had 152,301 total cases, and 2,673 deaths, according its Department of Health and Human Resources.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday that every 16 to 35 year old who gets a COVID vaccine will receive a $100 savings bond