CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice plans to send a letter Thursday to the CDC asking for permission to begin giving fourth COVID-19 vaccination doses for people 50 years and older, people with compromised immune systems and essential workers. The plan follows Israel’s lead, where officials began administering fourth doses, late last month.

“We’ve got to do something,” the governor said.

Along with saving lives, Justice is concerned about a “run on our hospitals,” he said, Thursday. The issues in hospitals are not related to available beds and equipment, but staffing, as many healthcare workers themselves are getting sick, officials said.

The state is “not even close to the peak” of the Omicron surge, Dr. Clay Marsh said.

With 100 outbreaks in long term care facilities, in the state, the governor pushed for the vaccinated elderly population to get booster shots.

Officials also explained that they have changed the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, in relation to case recoveries, to reflect the CDC’s new guidance.

Gov. Justice also mentioned that state emergency officials are prepared for the snow storm that is predicted to hit the state Thursday.

Baby Dog was also in attendance at the governor’s briefing Thursday and is prepared to rest through the storm, Justice said.