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Justice: $100 vaccine gift cards for ages 16-35 may be ready this week or next; briefings will be cut to two per week

MORGANTOWN – The $100 incentive program to get ages 16-35 vaccinated is nearly ready to roll, Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday. “It’s coming, it’s on the way.”

People in that age group will be able to choose between an e-savings bond or a gift card, he said. The keepsake card will be decorated with “Beat 588 … Bad” plus the West Virginia and U.S. flags.

The gift cards are getting printed now and he thinks they’ll be ready late this week or early next. “We’re really close on it.”

He said again his original idea for old-fashioned savings bond certificates didn’t pan out because they’re electronic now. An alternate plan to offer keepsake silver dollars also ran into roadblocks.

For those who want savings bonds, he said, they’ll have to provide some information when they get vaccinated and set up an account.

Whichever they choose, he said, they will get the $100 and they don’t need to wait to get vaccinated.

On vaccine numbers, he said 55.6% of the eligible population age16 and up has had one shot and 46.4% are fully vaccinated. The Call to Arms goal to have 65% with at least one shot by June 20 when the mask mandate ends.

But his eyes are on the 16-35s, he said. “We really need to get more and more of them vaccinated and just shut this thing down. … We’re knocking on the door and we’re going to keep right at it until we get there.”

Justice said he’s cutting back on his virtual COVID briefings starting next week. They currently stand at three per week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Friday’s briefing will be held as planned.

But next week he’s cutting back to two per week, he said, to keep them from becoming too redundant.

Next week, the briefings will be Monday and Wednesday. In the weeks thereafter, they’ll be Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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