West Virginia leads nation in COVID-19 vaccinations

WTAP News @ 5 - W.Va. leads nation in percentage of residents to get COVID-19 vaccine
Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 6:50 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - As West Virginia continues to see a slow decline in the total number of active COVID-19 cases, officials continue to ramp up efforts to get as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible.

On the same day the state’s coronavirus czar, Dr. Clay Marsh, told a U.S. House subcommittee about the state’s progress with vaccinations, statistics showed West Virginia leads the nation in the percentage of residents who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Tuesday morning, the state’s COVID-19 dashboard show that about four percent of the state’s 1.8 million residents, or 70,948 people, have been fully vaccinated with either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. In addition, it showed that 11 percent, or 195,825 people, have received their first shot. The dashboard also showed 20,047 active cases statewide, 568 fewer cases than on Monday.

State officials also said Tuesday that President Joe Biden is making good on his pledge to increase vaccine supplies with a 16 percent bump in first doses received by the Mountain State this week.

Lawrence Messina, the state’s director of communications, said the shipment of first doses from the federal government increased by 3,700 to 27,300. This comes as the state has scheduled clinics in all 55 counties to vaccine people 65 or older.

The state Department of Health and Human Resource said Monday that a majority of the clinics - including one Wednesday in Elizabeth, two on Thursday in Parkersburg and St. Marys and one on Friday in Parkersburg - are full based on appointments made after people pre-registered, either locally or at www.vaccinate.wv.gov.

On Tuesday, Carrie Brainard, threat preparedness coordinator for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, said appointments for the MOVHD’s local clinics are still being filled from a list of several thousand people who pre-registered locally before West Virginia implemented a registration system. The two lists will eventually be merged, and priority will be given to people on the local list, she said.

It is also not necessary to reregister using the state system if you know you were pre-registered locally.

Regardless of when someone registered, Brainard said officials will call you with information about when and where to go to get vaccinated. In addition, walk-in appointments at the health department are not being accepted.

Another announcement Tuesday could lead to more vaccinations in West Virginia. Pharmacy giant Walgreens said it will soon have the vaccine available at some of its pharmacies West Virginia and several other states. The company didn’t say when it would get the vaccines, but once they are available, the company said people will be able to register for an appointment at www.walgreens.com/schedulevaccine.

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