As part of its COVID-19 vaccine
incentive program, West Virginia
intends to give away firearms, trucks, cash, and other prizes.
From June 20 to August 4, the state will award a variety of items as part of the lottery
, Gov. Jim Justice
(R) announced Tuesday at a news
conference. Those who enter will have the chance to win custom-outfitted trucks, weekend vacations at state parks, lifetime hunting
and fishing licenses, and custom hunting rifles and shotguns, as well as monetary incentives such as full scholarships.
The program will be funded by pandemic
relief funds from the federal government.
To be eligible, West Virginia residents must receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and those who have already been fully vaccinated must register.
The vaccine is completely free of charge.
“All of our hospitalizations, all of our ICU units, all of our deaths are, for the most part, people
who have not been vaccinated. I don’t know how it gets any simpler than that,” Justice said. “These vaccinations
are incredibly safe and they’ll protect you. I don’t know how in the world people are still sitting on the sidelines saying, no, I’m not going to do one, I’m not going to do it.”
Vaccine incentives have been in place in the state since April
, when Justice announced that residents between the ages of 16 and 35 would be eligible for a $100 savings bond for receiving the vaccine, in an effort to encourage more younger residents to sign up.
Justice's latest vaccine initiative aims to vaccinate 65% of all eligible West Virginians, 75% of West Virginians aged 50 and older, and 85% of West Virginians aged 65 and older with at least one dose by June 20. According to the state's Health
and Human Resources department, roughly 51% of the state's population has received at least one dose, and 41% are fully vaccinated.
Several other states
, including California
, and Oregon
, have lottery programs in place to encourage residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.