West Virginia governor Jim Justice begged young Americans to get the Covid vaccine on Monday, telling CNBC that it was important to help the country overcome the devastating coronavirus pandemic.
Justice’s comments on “Squawk on the Street” came a week after the Republican governor announced an initiative to send $ 100 savings bonds to West Virginia residents aged 16 to 35 receiving the Covid vaccine give.
“What we know now is … our young people are really reluctant to step up absolutely because they think they are invincible,” Justice said. Although they are less at risk of death than older people, young people have proven to be “tremendous transmitters of it, and by reinforcing them will save many lives” too.
Almost 83% of US citizens aged 65 and over have now received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, according to the CDC. Approximately 80% of all Covid deaths in the US were in this age group.
Older Americans were given priority access to the vaccine because of their susceptibility to the disease after US regulators gave clearance for the emergency late last year. Pfizer and Moderna’s two-dose vaccines received limited approvals in December, while Johnson & Johnson’s single vaccine received emergency approval in late February.
In this image from a video released by the state of West Virginia, a nurse administers a coronavirus that was sent to West Virginia Governor Jim Justice on Monday, December 14, 2020 in Charleston, W.Va.
State of West Virginia via AP
“There will always be a small population of people who will just say, ‘Well, I don’t take this no matter what,'” Justice said. “But really and truly, at the end of the day, the population that is still out there says, ‘Well I would take it but it’s a little impractical,’ or the population of young people between 15 and 35 years of age who think they are invincible, we have to penetrate that. “
This is where West Virginia’s $ 100 savings bond incentive plan comes in, Justice said, describing the initiative as a kind of “dose of patriotism”.
“We’re trying to do something that’s just new. It’s a new approach to marketing and everything. It works, but I don’t think it’s going to be a silver bullet,” Justice said.
According to Justice, West Virginia’s goal is to get 70% of the total population vaccinated. Currently, 44% of the state’s residents have received at least one dose and 36.2% are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources.
“I don’t know why in the world all of our people can’t understand just one thing and such a simple thing: vaccinations save an incredible number of lives,” Justice said. “Absolutely all of us, we have to do this … This is our duty – absolutely a duty – to be vaccinated.”
By taking this move, the judiciary said, the nation will be able to move past many pandemic precautions.
“If we want to get back to normal and be able to open these masks and get rid of them and get rid of all these things I want to do more than anything in the world, but if we want to get there, our ticket is one thing”, said Justice. “That bridge to a vaccine? We just got a vaccine and we need to be on it.”