Get a vaccine shot in West Virginia, and you can win a gun among other prizes, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
According to the state, West Virginia currently has about half of its population with at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot.
To sweeten the pot, Gov. Jim Justice announced in a video on Twitter Tuesday, that West Virginians who get a vaccine shot will be entered into a drawing for several prizes including $1 million, college scholarships from schools in the state, and even custom firearms.
In the video, Justice said that there are people all over the world “begging” to get vaccinated and while he felt the state should not have to offer “prizes,” he wants to give people the incentive to “cross the finish line” and get the shots.
“The faster we get them across the finish line (vaccinated), the more lives we save, (and) the more money we save as a state,” Justice said. “We got to get all our folks across the finish line.”
The weekly drawings will take place from June 20 to Aug. 4, and all West Virginians who get their first shot are eligible for the prizes, Justice said.
On the first day of the drawing, Father’s Day, June 20, those eligible can win two full college scholarships to schools in the state, two fully customized trucks, 25 weekend state park passes, five lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, five custom hunting rifles and shotguns, and a grand prize of $1 million, Justice said.
He said the drawings will continue each week until Aug. 4 and said that anyone who received a shot prior to the announcement is eligible.
Justice said he did not want the neighboring state of Ohio, which is also giving out prizes, including a $1 million grand prize, to get the upper hand.
West Virginia now joins other states in offering substantial prizes and incentives for its residents to get the vaccinations.
New Jersey offered free beer to those of age who received a vaccination shot in May, while New York City residents can get free fries from Shake Shack for getting the vaccine, the Post previously reported.
Nationally, about half of the population has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses each, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot.
The top U.S. infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently said the goal for the nation is to have 60-70 percent of each state vaccinated to outpace community spread of the virus.
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