Governor Jim Justice urges vaccination in light of rising COVID cases


Samantha Snyder

Graphic of Topper the Bear made by Samantha Snyder.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice expressed disappointment to citizens this week by saying, “We could have stopped this” in a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Justice announced in this press briefing that Pfizer booster shots are now available to West Virginia residents. He shared the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding who should and those who may receive the booster shot six months after their second dose of Pfizer.

“For the most part, if you want a booster shot, and you are 18 years or older in any situation (where) you feel compromised, you can now go get your booster shot,” says Justice.

In the news briefing, Justice stated that as of now, the individuals who should get their booster include people 65 years and older who have received their first dose of Pfizer up to six months ago, residents in long term care settings six months after receiving their first dose of Pfizer, and people 50-64 years old if they have underlying health conditions six months after receiving their first dose of Pfizer.

Justice says that as of now, individuals who may receive the booster shot six months after receiving their first dose of Pfizer include people who are 18-49 years old with underlying medical conditions and people who are 18-64 years old who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 because of an institutional setting.

He also announced that the CDC will be releasing information on the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines soon. Justice has and will continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and take advantage of the booster shots.

He stated that many of the confirmed hospitalizations of individuals with COVID-19 are going to die, and residents of West Virginia could have stopped this death toll through vaccinations.

After listing off by county the age and gender of each individual that has died from COVID-19 since Wednesday, Justice announced the state statistics. As of Friday, there were 231,668 cases, 16,223 active cases and 2,685 new deaths reported since the last update.

Justice also offered statistics on hospitalizations. He reports that there were 1,008 confirmed cases hospitalized of which 80.3% were unvaccinated, 289 cases in the ICU of which 84.4% were unvaccinated and 187 cases of hospitalized individuals on a ventilator of which 88.8% were unvaccinated.

For more information about Gov. Jim Justice’s COVID-19 briefing and more news updates to come, please visit