West Virginia Is Paying 16-35 Year-Olds $100 to Get Vaccinated

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West Virginia’s Republican Governor Jim Justice announced yesterday that the state will give $100 savings bonds to residents ages 16 to 35 who get vaccinated against COVID, as part of his ongoing initiative to get more younger residents vaccinated.

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“We have vetted this in every way that we possibly can, to be assured that we can use our CARES dollars to do exactly just this,” Gov. Justice said in a press briefing.

In addition, he said that the incentive will be retroactive, meaning all West Virginians ages 16 to 35 who have already been vaccinated will also receive a $100 savings bond, according to a press release.

“Our kids today probably don’t really realize just how important they are in shutting this thing down,” Gov. Justice said. “I’m trying to come up with a way that’s truly going to motivate them — and us — to get over the hump.”

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Justice said that the goal is to get more than 70% of West Virginia’s eligible population vaccinated. Of the 1.47 million West Virginians who are currently eligible, just 52% have received at least one dose to date, with demand for vaccines dipping in recent weeks, according to the release. If at least 275,000 of younger West Virginians get vaccinated, it will increase the state’s total to more than 70%.

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“If we can get to 70%, we’ll shut this virus down,” Gov. Justice said in the briefing. “If we do that, the masks go away, the hospitalizations go away, and the deaths become minimal.”

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