A state in America, West Virginia, is offering incentives to encourage residents get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the state, later this month, is starting weekly lottery drawings offering cash, trucks, guns and scholarships to those who’ve received at least one immunization shot.
Starting June 20, West Virginia will give out $1 million and other prizes each week up until Aug. 4, when two grand prizes of nearly $1.6 million and $580,000 will be announced, according to state officials.
It’s not the first time the state has offered an incentive for its residents to get vaccinated; in April, West Virginia announced that anyone between the ages of 16-35 who received a vaccination qualified to receive a $100 savings bond after getting their shot.
The program was initially successful, with more than 20,000 registrants, but its use has fallen off since then.
On Tuesday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said that getting more people vaccinated was crucial to restoring the state’s financial well-being and for saving lives.
According to data from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 51 per cent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately 40 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Mr Justice’s campaign to increase vaccination in the state, named the “Call to Arms” initiative, aims to have 65 per cent of all eligible West Virginians, 75 per cent of West Virginians 50 and older, and 85 per cent of West Virginians 65 per cent and older with at least one dose of the vaccine by the state’s birthday on 20 June.
Efforts to encourage Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine, has made states come up with a variety of schemes to convince the skeptical – or simply aloof – to schedule an appointment and take their shots.
Ohio has the “Vaxamillion” lottery; in New York City, Metro passes have been offered to those getting the shot at a subway station. Now West Virginia is offering an incentive that is very … West Virginia.