May 19, 2022

west-virginia-savings-bondIf you need more convincing that you should get a COVID-19 vaccine, West Virginia will be giving $100 savings bonds to those who get a shot. The announcement, made by Governor Jim Justice on Monday, targets individuals in the 16 to 35-year-old age group. 

Looking at the population, around 380,000 West Virginians fit that age group. Although several have already gotten at least one shot, it still isn’t enough to get the rest vaccinated. Gov. Justice revealed that “they’re not taking the vaccines as fast as we’d like them to take them.”

The Republican governor announced this at a news conference. The public official revealed that the money for the savings bonds will be taken from federal funds from the CARES Act. The governor believes that he was able to vet the scenario in every possible way that he could. In doing, so, the governor can ensure that the unconventional use of the funds would be permitted. 

As for those who have already obtained a vaccine, the governor shares that they still have access to the bonds. Anyone in the announced age group will have access to the savings bonds. 

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The decision to offer $100 savings bonds to this certain age group is to encourage them to get a vaccine. In doing so, the governor believes that this will help stop the COVID-19 virus “dead in its tracks.” When everyone gets a vaccine, the governor believes that everyone can start to remove the masks and the hospitalizations will go away too. And in effect, there will be a minimal death toll. 

When the vaccination efforts started earlier this year, West Virginia stood out for successfully vaccinating its residents. It was also able to administer the second dose to more of its population compared to any other state. 

But now, the state has fallen behind. A database that tracks vaccinations reveals that West Virginia is ahead of only nine states for its number of residents with a first dose. By offering the savings bond to its young residents, Gov. Justice believes that they could “always stand an extra dose of patriotism.” 

The savings bond can be retrieved by the recipient at a later date and will come with interest. The governor says that “I hope that you keep it for a long, long, long time.”