On June 20, Father’s Day, five custom hunting rifles and five custom shotguns will be given away through a lottery.
Weekly from June 20 to August 4, lottery drawings will take place for any West Virginian Who has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “To be eligible, you have got to get your first shot,” Governor Jim Justice said. “When I start through these prizes … there’s going to be a run on people getting their first shot. So go get ’em. Go get ’em, so you’ll be eligible where we can draw your name, and absolutely you could win something that would be phenomenal.” The lottery will also give one resident one million dollars and other prizes such as scholarships, custom trucks, and lifetime hunting and fishing licenses. West Virginian is also giving away $100 in savings bonds or gift cards to everyone aged 16-35 in the state who is fully vaccinated.
51.1% of West Virginians received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 41.2% fully vaccinated, according to the state’s health department. The New York Times’ finds that the state ranks 48 (when including U.S. territories) in vaccination rates in the country and West Virginia has high rates of vaccine hesitancy. Governor Justice announced Tuesday that 75% of West Virginians aged 50 and older have received at least one dose. He has a goal to vaccinate 65% of all eligible residents by June 20, so far 59% of residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
On June 20, the state’s face mask mandate will be lifted for indoor spaces. Until the 20th, those who are fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without having to wear a mask or use social distancing guidelines, unvaccinated residents still need to follow the state’s rules. The state of Illinois has a gun related incentive for vaccinated residents as well, they are giving away 100 free targets at a shooting range to anyone who gets the vaccine at their mobile vaccination sites.
“The faster we get people across the finish line, the more lives we save. That’s all there is to it,” Governor Justice said in a statement. “If the tab just keeps running, the cost is enormous,” he said. “The hospitalizations are enormous. We have to get all of our folks across the finish line.” Governor Justice wants to minimize hospitalizations and maximize vaccinations through utilizing the lottery. West Virginia has about 4,550 active COVID-19 cases, with 570 new cases reported on Tuesday.
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ARTICLE: JACOB ZUBY
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INDIA TIMES