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UPDATE: W.Va. opens portal for $100 prize for young vaccinated

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia’s governor has debuted a new portal for vaccinated residents aged 16 to 35 to receive a $100 incentive. Those in the age group who received all required doses of the vaccine can register at governor.wv.gov to get their prize of a $100 U.S. Treasury bond or a Visa gift card of the same value.

The state is aiming to boost its sluggish vaccination campaign with the prize and has also expanded clinics at schools and businesses. Justice has a goal of vaccinating at least 65% of residents aged 12 and over by June 20, when the statewide mask mandate will be lifted.

UPDATE 4/26/2021 5:33 P.M.

West Virginia officials are still working to hammer out details of how to send $100 savings bonds for residents age 16 to 35 who get a coronavirus shot.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice said the incentive program to immunize young people will also apply retroactively for anyone in the age range who already received a vaccine.

He said his administration is working with the U.S. Treasury Department to make arrangements for the bonds, which can take up to two decades to mature to their full value.

If issuing bonds becomes too complex, he said the state will just send $100 checks.

ORIGINAL STORY:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - West Virginia’s governor is trying to incentivize more young people to get vaccinated.

Governor Jim Justice said during his Monday news briefing that the state would offer a $100 savings bond to any person 16 to 35 years of age who gets vaccinated.

The savings bonds would be paid for with CARES Act money.

The offer comes as West Virginia has hit a bump in its vaccination effort, especially among young people.

About 52 percent of eligible West Virginians have gotten at least one dose as of Monday. However, Justice said if 80 percent of people 16 to 35 got vaccinated, the state would reach a 71 percent vaccination rate among eligible residents.

The governor has said the state’s mask mandate could stay in effect until a 70 percent vaccination rate is reached.

“Accept that wonderful savings bond, and I hope that you keep it for a long long long time,” said Justice. “I hope that it signifies to you just what this great country is all about, because at this time you are stepping up to shut this thing down.”

There’s no word yet on how the bonds will be paid out. We’ll update you when we know more.

Also during the governor’s briefing, Dr. Ayn Amjad, the state’s medical officer, said 162 deaths previously marked as COVID-19 deaths would be removed from the state’s numbers on Tuesday.

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