Gov. Jim Justice: Not enough older West Virginians have gotten COVID boosters

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and state health officials worked to drive home the importance of COVID-19 booster shots, during Tuesday’s briefing.

The state has seen a rise in the number of booster shots given, currently at 222,000, but officials are concerned that not enough people, particularly the state’s older population are getting the shots. Only 31.8% of 65 and older population have gotten boosters, Gov. Justice said.

“It is no where close to where we need to be going into the winter months. There is no substitute for a West Virginian taking the responsibility to go get a booster dose,” Ret. Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer exhorted.

“Not getting vaccinated is not the smart thing we should be doing,” said Justice. Un-boosted older residents, “might as well cock a gun right at their head,” the governor went on to say. “Mark it down. A bunch more of you are going to die, any way you cut it. You’re going to overload our hospitals and you’re going to cause a bunch of people who have heart attacks or strokes to die,” the governor continued.

After previous surges, more significant drops in hospitalizations were seen, Justice said, while this surge is still overloading hospitals, he went on.

“It’s as simple as mud. We’ve got to get vaccinated. Tell me one horror story of someone who’d been vaccinated. I’ve not heard one, that’s a personal story,” Justice said. “We’ve got a pathway out and the pathway is harmless, for the most part,” the governor went on to say about vaccinations.

The governor also detailed visits he’s made to several schools this week to hand out prizes through the third round of the “Do it for Babydog” vaccination sweepstakes. Justice says he “doesn’t know how in the world you can have a better marketing tool than Babydog.”

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