West Virginia now 8% away from reaching vaccination goal for eligible population

CHARLESTON — During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that out of 1,557,837 West Virginians ages 12 and older who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, 887,388 of these individuals have received at least one dose of vaccine; a rate of nearly 57%.

As part of the Governor’s recently announced “Call to Arms” vaccine initiative, State COVID-19 pandemic response leaders have set a goal of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 65% of all eligible residents by West Virginia’s 158th birthday on June 20, 2021.

“We are at 57% right now, so we’ve only got 8% to go,” Gov. Justice said. “So come on, West Virginia, just help me a little bit and we’ll get there.”

The Governor went on to announce that he will be meeting with members of his staff and the State’s pandemic response leadership team in the coming days to discuss the possibility of offering additional incentives to encourage West Virginians to get vaccinated.

“It seems a crying shame to have to come up with new incentives or ways to motivate and get more and more folks to come out and get vaccinated,” Gov. Justice said. “But let’s just be fair. If we’ve got the dollars and it allows us to get more folks vaccinated, then we need to do something.”

The Governor added that he plans to announce these new incentives during his next COVID-19 briefing later this week.

“I’m going to revisit with my team again. We’ve got a lot of suggestions for fun type things, where people could maybe pick up some stuff, whether it be some kind of prizes or whether it be cash,” Gov. Justice said. “If we can get our folks vaccinated, could you imagine what we’re going to save? Not only will we save lives and save people from incredible sickness but, between the magnitude of testing costs and other things, it would be off the charts as to what we would save in dollars.”

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder of his recent announcement that online registration is now open for his “Beat 588…Bad” West Virginia Strong Vaccine Incentive Program.

All West Virginians ages 16-35 who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are now able to register online to receive either a $100 savings bond or a $100 gift card.

The $100 incentive is retroactive, meaning all West Virginians ages 16-35 who have received the COVID-19 vaccine at any point are eligible. To find a vaccine near you, click here.

Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice advised West Virginians that the FBI is warning all Americans about a new scam targeting those who have been vaccinated.

Federal officials say that scammers are emailing or texting individuals who have been vaccinated, asking them to take a post-vaccine survey to be entered into a lottery for money. However, they ask for your personal information and then steal your identity.

“Do not give people personal information because, once they get that information, they’re going to try to steal from you,” Gov. Justice said. “If we come up with a new program, you’ll see it here at one of our briefings or on our website.”

FBI officials also warn people not to post photos of vaccine cards on social media, because they contain personal information that could be stolen to commit fraud.

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