CHARLESTON — West Virginia officials hope the third time is the charm as it restarts a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program to get the state’s eligible children vaccinated.
Governor Jim Justice announced Do It For Babydog Round Three Monday, named after the governor’s English bulldog who became the face of the state’s vaccination efforts last summer.
“We’re going out with Babydog,” Justice said. “We’re going to call our schools directly. We are going to try in every possible way to at least stimulate education.”
Registration for “Do It For Babydog Round Three” opens today at doitforbabydog.wv.gov.
Registration closes every Sunday for the following week’s giveaways.
Drawings will begin next Monday, November 15, and continue for the next four weeks, excluding the week of Thanksgiving, with the last giveaway on Monday, December 16.
“This is our campaign to try to encourage the youngest of the youngest, with parental consent and all, to get vaccinated,” Justice said.
Justice said the state will give away 25 $10,000 educational savings each week, a top prize each week from a $50,000 educational savings fund to one child, and a check for $50,000 to the school the child attends, along with a party at the school. where the Governor and Babydog will attend.
During the final week of Do It For Babydog Round Three, the grand prize will be increased to $100,000 educational savings fund for one child and $100,000 for the school. Justice said other awards will include 100 lifetime hunting and fishing licenses per week.
Justice said his visits to the schools of the winning grand prize students will also include vaccinations, with doctors administering doses of vaccine to students who have permission from their parents.
The third round of Do It For Babydog is aimed at children ages 5-18 who have received at least one dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control signed Pfizer’s pediatric coronavirus vaccine last week. The latest round will be funded with remaining federal COVID-19 aid dollars and is expected to cost between $2 million and $3 million.
James Hoyer, leader of the joint state vaccine task force, said state health officials received a third round of pediatric doses this week, not counting those sent directly from the federal government to pharmacies and health partners, and a fourth order is placed for next week. .
“More than 900,900 doses went directly to pharmacies and public health clinics as part of the federal pharmacy program,” Hoyer said. “There will be a meeting … with CDC on future ordering criteria and updates, so we will continue to work on those efforts and continue to make progress toward getting pediatric doses for those who will be administering those doses.”
dr. Clay Marsh, the tsar of the state’s coronavirus, attended Monday’s COVID-19 briefing in person to warn that despite weeks of steady declines in active cases and hospitalizations, the virus’s reproduction rate has started to pick up again and the number of hospital admissions leveled off.
“We are starting to see an increase in our reproductive value. When we start looking at the current situation of COVID… that’s a little concerning,” Marsh said. “As it starts to get colder and people are gathering indoors, we’re seeing COVID-19 cases start rising again, especially in parts of Europe and parts of our country…where our elevation is higher and the weather is colder. ”
According to the Ministry of Health and Human Resources, the state had fallen to 6,318 active cases of COVID-19 since Sunday, from 6,597 active cases seven days ago. The number of hospital admissions was 536, down from 575 six days ago, while the number of cases in the intensive care unit (ICU) remained relatively flat at 195 cases.