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West Virginia, Ohio governors discuss states’ vaccination rates

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 4:31 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2021 at 8:10 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va., COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - In the past week, Governor Jim Justice has appeared on national news programs, discussing West Virginia’s early success in vaccinating its residents.

The most recent appearance was Sunday, on CBS’s “Face the Nation”.

And in some of those interviews, he’s compared that success to that of his neighboring states.

Federal data shows at least 7.5% of West Virginia’s population has had the first of the two required shots. Mostly, that’s been health care workers, the state’s nursing home population, and teachers.

In his briefing last Friday, the governor said the vaccination rate is far above most larger states.

In particular, he mentioned the bordering state of Ohio.

”Ohio right now has 37% of the vaccines they’ve received in somebody’s arm. I don’t want to be Ohio. They’re at 93% and they’re at 37%.”

On Thursday, Ohio’s governor Mike DeWine, said the Buckeye State ranks seventh in the nation in the distribution of vaccinations.

He noted, however, some differences between the two states.

“They’re not in the national pharmacy program to do nursing homes; they have a lot fewer nursing homes than we do, They didn’t go into program, which requires you to bank all these. They had their National Guard do it; we have too many nursing homes to have our National Guard do it. West Virginia has done a very, very good job.”

Ohio agreed to a federal partnership with major pharmacy chains, including CVS and Walgreens, while West Virginia decided to work with local pharmacies and smaller drug store companies.

At the end of last week, West Virginia had administered nearly 125,000 first doses and nearly 23,000 second doses.

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