Free guns as incentive for getting Covid vaccine!
Published : Friday, 4 June, 2021 at 2:10 PM Count : 261
In an effort to encourage Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine, states have been coming 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, reports The Independent.
Residents of the state who enter its new vaccine lottery will have the chance to win custom hunting rifles and shotguns, custom trucks, and weekend excursions to West Virginia's numerous state parks. The state is even offering lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, among other prizes.
In addition to the outdoor recreation prizes, entrants will also be enrolled in an opportunity to pick up monetary prizes like a full ride scholarship to any higher education institution in the state. The second place gran prize for the lottery will be $588,000, and the first place grand prize will be $1.588m
West Virginians who have already been vaccinated will have to enroll themselves if they want to enter.
The program will run between 20 June and 4 August, and - much like Ohio's "Vaxamillion" lottery - will be funded through the use of federal pandemic relief funds.
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.
“The faster we get people across the finish line the more lives we save. That’s all there is to it,” Mr Justice said. “If the tab just keeps running, the cost is enormous. The hospitalizations are enormous. We have to get all of our folks across the finish line.”
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.