As the rollout of vaccines continues to see more success in the state of W. Va., Governor Jim Justice has opened the vaccination pool to anyone 16 or older. Gov. Justice is continuing to push to vaccinate over 85% of the state’s senior population. In an article posted by the Weirton Daily Times, new data has shown that while some 25% of W.Va. residents aged 65 and older have pre-registered to receive the vaccine; however, they have yet to book any kind of appointment with a clinic or hospital to receive their due dosage. Cabinet secretary Bill Crouch attributes a large number of these individuals, “making up a total of 11,000 to 12,000,” to having most likely found a more immediate appointment at a local pharmacy or clinic.
Gov. Justice, during the week of March 27, proudly announced W. Va’s., ever-growing numbers of partial vaccinations administered to the senior population reaching a solid 70%, only fifteen away from his goal of 85%, and went on to announce that three new vaccine clinics had been opened in Kanawha, Berkeley, and Monongalia counties all while urging all the remaining senior citizens of W.Va. to either contact the state’s vaccine hotline at 1(833) 734-0965 if they have yet to book an appointment; toting that, “We will get you in that day if you call us.”
In an article by The Intelligencer, Gov. Justice was quoted saying, “Let’s go, West Virginia, and let’s get everybody in this state vaccinated… Beginning right now, if you’re 16 years of age and older and you want to get vaccinated and get into one of our clinics, we’ll get it done. As we continue to lead the way with our vaccine distribution, we don’t want to take our foot off the gas… I encourage all West Virginians to take advantage of this opportunity and get vaccinated.”
Spurred into action not only by the success seen thus far, but also, in more grim news, the rate of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within the state has begun to rise once more; hospitalizations are up 53% from the rates of two weeks prior to March 27, while positivity rates within cases of COVID-19 have reached 3.85%. However, this number remains under the telltale 5% mark, therefore it can be seen as quite good in the eyes of the Department of Health and Human Resources.
To combat this, Gov. Justice has begun to work with boards of education and high-schools throughout the state of W. Va to further push vaccine rollout and administration; in these clinics, family members of students will be able to come and be vaccinated as well, quickening the process even more-so. This is also in conjunction with multiple universities and colleges throughout W.Va. planning on offering vaccines to their students.
While attention will still be focused on the senior population, vaccine rollout is expected to see tremendous success as appointments are already beginning to be made, even more so than the fortune West Virginia has already seen thus far. Supporting this, in more local news, the city of Wheeling, W.Va. expects a supply surge of vaccines to arrive soon as new clinics around the area open to accommodate the demand of administration; currently, there are clinics located at the The Highlands shopping center in Triadelphia, W.Va. and Wheeling Hospital in Wheeling, W.Va.