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Vaccine booster shots urged in West Virginia

It's official. Booster shots of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine can now be given to millions of...
It's official. Booster shots of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine can now be given to millions of adults in the US. (Source: CNN Newsource)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:34 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is urging residents who got the Pfizer vaccine to get their booster shot, citing the rising number of hospitalizations involving vaccinated people.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said there were 16,223 active COVID-19 cases Friday with 1,008 people being treated in a hospital.

Officials say the number of fully vaccinated people who have been hospitalized has increase to 20 percent.

The CDC recommends that:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their second dose of Pfizer.
  • People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their second dose of Pfizer.
  • People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their second Pfizer dose, based on their individual benefits and risks.
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their second Pfizer dose, based on their individual benefits and risks.

“For the most part, if you got the Pfizer vaccine, you’re 18 or older, and you’re outside that six-month window, in just about any situation where you feel compromised, you can now go get your booster shot,” Gov. Justice said.

“The list of indications for all West Virginians who are six months out from their second dose of Pfizer is fairly broad, and they include a number of chronic diseases like cancer, kidney disease, a variety of lung diseases, dementia or other neurologic disease, diabetes – type 1 or type 2 – Down Syndrome, heart conditions, HIV infections, liver disease, being overweight...anybody who’s pregnant, sickle cell anemia, anybody who’s a current or former smoker, anybody who’s received a transplant, anybody who’s had a stroke or other brain disorders, anybody that has high blood pressure, or anybody that has substance use disorder,” State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said. “We want to really encourage people that are eligible to please go to your pharmacy, to your primary care office, to your provider, or to your local health department and please get the booster.”

“We have plenty of doses, based on the management of our inventory,” Joint Interagency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer said. “There are booster shots being given in nursing homes now, as we are on this press conference. The boosters are also available at pharmacies, community clinics, hospitals, and some primary care providers who have been providing shots to their patients in their offices also have doses available. If you have an issue with finding a location, please contact the DHHR and they can help facilitate you getting to a location that has the Pfizer booster doses available.

Justice says that means there’s growing need for vaccinated people to get a booster shot. He says most people age 18 and over can get the Pfizer booster if they had their second shot at least six months ago.

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