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Gov. Justice urges West Virginians to get a booster shot if possible

Gov. Jim Justice holds a briefing about COVID-19 and the state's response.
Gov. Jim Justice holds a briefing about COVID-19 and the state's response.(Gov. Justice Office)
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 3:23 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - On Friday last week, Gov. Justice announced that pandemic response teams were already on the move getting booster shots to at-risk residents following their long-awaited federal approval.

Officials say West Virginians who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may qualify for the booster shot if it has been at least six months since thier second dose.

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.

Gov. Justice went on to report that West Virginia has distributed over 9,400 additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccines since his previous briefing last week.

“That’s pretty good. It’s a whole heck of a lot better than when we were doing 3,400 or 4,200 in a weekend,” Gov. Justice said.

Additionally, following a correction in the vaccination data being tracked by the CDC, West Virginia has once again crossed the threshold of 1 million vaccinations statewide.

“More people have stepped up to get vaccinated,” Gov. Justice added. “All the stuff that we’re doing is working. But we always can do even better.”

Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reported that the state’s total number of active cases has continued to drop. However, as expected, the number of West Virginians in the hospital with severe cases continues to hold near record levels for now. There are now 14,534 active cases, down more than 1,600 cases since the Governor’s previous briefing Friday last week. The active case count is down by 15,210 cases since peaking just 10 days ago, dropping 51.1% in a week-and-a-half.

Meanwhile, the state has seen a small decrease in the number of COVID-related hospitalizations, dropping to 978 after reaching a new peak of 1,012 on Friday.

The number of patients in ICUs has once again tied the all-time peak of 291. However, the number of patients on ventilators has dropped slightly to 193 after peaking at 195 on Saturday.

“What all of this tells us is that we’re in a hold pattern right at the peak,” Gov. Justice said. “But it looks like that hold pattern could soon start flowing our way.

“State health experts say that, with the overall case count dropping, the number of severe cases should begin declining as well in the weeks ahead.

The statewide death toll from COVID-19 has reached 3,568, with 45 more deaths being reported since the Governor’s previous briefing on Friday last week.

The County Alert System map now shows that 50 of the state’s 55 counties are in either the highest-risk Red category or one step below in the Orange category. However, the map now features two counties in the Green category.

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On Monday, Gov. Justice reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 82 school outbreaks in 30 counties with 831 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 Outbreaks in State Public Schools (WVDE)

A total of 54 county school systems have either face covering requirements or a criteria for requiring face coverings. Only one county – Pocahontas County – does not have a face covering requirement at this time.

WV Department of Education COVID-19 Updates

There are three active outbreaks associated with churches throughout West Virginia. The churches are located in Monroe, Raleigh, and Wayne counties.Additionally, there are now 85 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.

Meanwhile, there are now 286 active inmate cases and 75 active staff cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation system. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.

This week is the final week to register for Round 2 of the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” Vaccination Sweepstakes. All West Virginians who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can register at DoitforBabydog.wv.gov for an opportunity to join the list of winners. Over 223,000 West Virginians have already registered for Round 2 of the sweepstakes.

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