West Virginia adds financial reward for young people to get vaccinated

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The state continues to have plummeting COVID-19 vaccination numbers and the governor’s vaccination task force is trying to turn the tide.

On March 31st the state vaccinated more than 14-thousand people. Two weeks later that number dropped to 46-hundred, and on Sunday, there was only one clinic in the state that vaccinated just 178 people. State health officials are worried that the youngest residents are fearful of the vaccine, and older folks simply don’t want the shots.

“So these vaccines are incredibly effective. They are incredibly safe as the Governor said. We have followed now, hundreds of millions of doses of these vaccines being given out in the U.S. and around the world, and we see virtually no side effects from these at all,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia COVID-19 Czar.

Officials suspect the suspending of the one-dose Johnson and Johnson shots prompted fear and mistrust, but today Governor Justice says that vaccine resumed here immediately after the federal government ruled it safe.

Also today. the Governor says all West Virginians ages 16 to 35 who’ve already gotten the shots, or will get them, will also get a $100 dollar savings bond as an incentive. That could cost the state $27 million dollars.

“$27 million dollars would just be a gigantic price tag. But really and truly it would be so minuscule in comparison to where we’ve been, what we will continue to have to do, how much more suffering we’ll have to go through,” said Gov. Jim Justice (R) West Virginia.

Young people are far more likely to get the COVID-19 variants. So far there are 691 variant cases in West Virginia.

“In an effort to target more young people, the health department will hold vaccination clinics here at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center this week, because thousands of people will be here for the Girls High School State Basketball Tournament,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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