West Virginia surpasses 60% vaccination rate, closing in on goals

CHARLESTON — During Thursday’s press briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced that over 60.1% of all West Virginians who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine have now received at least one dose. To date, 936,453 of 1,557,837 vaccine-eligible West Virginians have received their first shot.

“We’ve crossed a milestone; I knew we would,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.”

As part of the Governor’s recently announced “Call to Arms” vaccine initiative, State COVID-19 pandemic response leaders have set a goal of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 65% of all eligible residents ages 12 and older by West Virginia’s 158th birthday on June 20, 2021.

Pandemic response leaders also set goals of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 75% of residents ages 50 and older and 85% of residents ages 65 and older. West Virginia has already surpassed one of these marks, reaching a 76% vaccination rate in the 50+ age range. The State is also now less than three-tenths of a percent from achieving its goal in the 65+ age range, reaching a 84.7% vaccination rate in this category.

Once again on Thursday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that online registration is now open for the Governor’s “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change a life”  vaccination lottery. More than 70,000 West Virginians have already registered to win one of several major prizes that will be given away in the upcoming sweepstakes.

The prize giveaways include a $1.588 million grand prize, a $588,000 second prize, weekly drawings for $1 million, full scholarships to any West Virginia state college or university, custom-outfitted trucks, weekend vacations at state parks, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, and custom hunting rifles and shotguns.

All West Virginians ages 12 and older who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to register by visiting Doitforbabydog.wv.gov.

Lottery drawings will begin later this month with the first drawing scheduled to be held on Sunday, June 20 – also known as West Virginia Day in honor of the State’s birthday – with additional drawings continuing through Wednesday, Aug. 4.