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W.Va., Ohio encouraged by falling COVID-19 numbers

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:03 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va., COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - It appears the number of COVID-19 cases in both states has either plateaued or started to decline.

In West Virginia, the governor, who has been promoting vaccinations, is now also focusing on boosters for those already vaccinated.

Gov. Jim Justice says 20% of patients who have contracted the virus were fully vaccinated.

I think that number would be way, way less than 20%, from what I’ve been told,” the governor added at his briefing Monday, “if we had people running to get the booster. We’re doing that, but we need to do it more and more and more.”

Another focus is on monoclonal antibodies, administered to people who are already sick. Ohio is promoting doses statewide. West Virginia, while not having as much supply, is working to do the same.

“Thousands of doses weekly are being administered at our hospitals, long-term care settings, community health centers, dedicated infusion settings, and other locations able to provide this intravenous-based therapy”, says Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer, Ohio Department of Health.

“We have a sufficient amount out there for at least some of the appointments we are getting,” adds Dr. Ayne Amjad, West Virginia Health Officer. “The good news is more patients out there who are COVID positive know it’s an option for them to have it. The demand has increased across the state.”

Meanwhile, the number of COVID cases in pregnant women is rising.

During a virtual briefing by the Ohio Department of Health, state leaders said nationwide, there are 125,000 cases among pregnant women, with 22 deaths reported during August. 92% of those cases happened among unvaccinated women.

The concern, say health experts, is that those not wanting to get the shot fear it will affect their unborn child.

”So I tell my patients all of these things help them understand the risk of vaccines is minimal in every study we’ve looked at,” says Dr. Lisa Egbert, an OB-GYN from the Dayton area, “versus the risk of COVID in pregnancy is no comparison, and I ask them to please get vaccinated.”

Ohio health experts and providers cited national studies in saying there is no increased risk from vaccines in pregnancies.

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