WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- People aged 16 to 35 years in West Virginia will receive $100 if they get COVID-19 vaccine.
- Gov. Jim Justice (R) made the announcement in a bid to encourage the younger population to obtain the shots.
The demand for vaccination declined in recent weeks, while Justice aimed to get at least 70 percent of residents vaccinated.
In West Virginia, the younger generation would be given money if they agree to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
For every individual with ages 16-35, the state will be providing a $100 package to encourage them to get the shots. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) made the announcement during a briefing Monday.
“Our kids today probably don’t really realize just how important they are in shutting this thing down,” 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.”
The scheme would also be carried out for people who already receive their vaccines belonging to this age bracket. The allocation will be coming from the CARES Act.
Early this year, the state’s inoculation campaign made an impressive start. Despite being largely rural with scarcity of internet access, the state was able to vaccinate a large majority of residents by late February.
The turnaround for vaccinations, however, slowed over time as vaccine eligibility had been widened in scope. According to NPR’s vaccine tracker, the state is now at 29th spot in vaccination rates. Currently, around one-third of the West Virginians have gotten their complete vaccines, while about 35 percent obtained their first dose.
Mid last month, the state began opening vaccination to local residents aged 16 and above, while prioritizing the elderly population (ages 65 and up). Justice noted that as of Monday, about seven of out 10 older adults had been fully vaccinated, while nearly 80 percent of them already received their first dose.
In recent weeks, the demand for vaccines dramatically declined. Per West Virginia Public Broadcasting, “most who wanted to be vaccinated have been, and the remaining West Virginians just don’t want the shot, leaving local health officials scrambling to use up their shipments.”
Given the situation, the state has ramped up its efforts, turning to the younger generation for its inoculation proceedings.
Earlier this month, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported that people below 20 comprised about 26 percent of the total COVID-19 infections across the state versus only 16 percent since the outbreak began last year. This age group has increasingly been getting more infections in recent weeks.
The governor said Monday that the state’s younger population of about 380,000 were “not taking vaccines as fast as we’d like them to take them.”
“If we really want to move the needle, we’ve got to get our younger people vaccinated,” he said.
The governor’s objective was to get at least over 70 percent of people vaccinated within the entire state.