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West Virginia vaccinations slow down as new virus strain emerges

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _

West Virginia’s coronavirus vaccination drive is slowing down as fewer people come forward to get shots.

Gov. Jim Justice bemoaned an ``incredibly low’' vaccine administration rate of 85% on Friday. He said many other states had overtaken West Virginia after a promising start early in the year.

State data show that 38.1% of the state’s 1.78 million residents have received at least one vaccine dose. Nearly 27% are fully inoculated against the virus that has killed 2,777 people so far in West Virginia.

Two months ago, demand for vaccines outstripped supply and Justice was pleading to the federal government for more doses.

Meanwhile, state health officials say a new virus strain, Brazillian P-1, has been detected in Berkeley County.

They also say 129 “breakthrough” cases have been reported in the state: people who have been fully vaccinated, but still got the virus. Justice says it’s a small number of those who have been fully vaccinated.

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