West Virginia Governor Jim Justice in a file photo with former President Donald Trump.
Photo: SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images
Custom hunting rifles and shotguns, hunting and fishing licenses, state park vacations, and a truck are all part of the prizes that will be raffled by the authorities in West Virginia to encourage people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
A prize of more than $ 1 million and another of $ 588,000
This Tuesday, Governor Jim Justice announced that, apart from the above, residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can participate in the spread for a grand prize of $ 1,588 million and a second prize of $ 588,000, plus scholarships for college studies in West Virginia.
The program will run between June 20 and August 4, and will be paid for with federal funds already approved in the United States Congress.
“The faster we get people to cross the finish line, the more lives we are going to save. That’s about it, ”Justice said while making the state lottery announcement. “If the tab keeps running, the cost is huge. The hospitalizations are huge. We need to get our people to the finish line, ”insisted the official.
West Virginia government had already announced $ 100 savings bonds
In April, the governor had already announced that those vaccinated between the ages of 16 to 35 could get a savings bond of $ 100. However, support for the immunization campaign has declined despite government efforts to motivate citizens.
At the moment, 51.1% of the population in West Virginia have received at least one dose of any of the coronavirus vaccines. Authorities hope the awards will increase people’s interest in getting vaccinated.
Authorities will soon open a website for interested parties to register for the sweepstakes.
Goal to increase vaccination by June 20
The lottery is part of the “Call to Arms” initiative. Under the campaign, the leaders who will lead the processes have set a goal of vaccinating 65% of all eligible residents in the state; 75% of the inhabitants of 50 years or more and 85% of those who are 65 years or more by June 20.
That day, it is celebrated the 158th anniversary of West Virginia’s joining the Union. On that date, the governor plans to repeal the rule of mandatory use of masks in all enclosed spaces in the state.
Money lottery and prize programs have become popular in recent weeks with states such as California, Colorado, Ohio and Maryland following suit.