CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Much of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s virtual COVID-19 briefing, Wednesday, focused on the state’s vaccination efforts.
More than 30% of eligible West Virginians have been vaccinated, but the state needs to get to 70%, Gov. Justice said.
“I truly believe if you are of any age, 16 on up, you ought to be taking your vaccine, but for those folks who are 65 and older, for them not to take their vaccine, it’s not smart,” Justice said. More than 90,000 residents, 60 and older, still haven’t been vaccinated, Justice reported, while also emphasizing that young people need to get vaccinated too.
State officials have three primary objectives: “vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate,” said Ret. Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer.
“When are we going to realize, without any question, our answer to this problem is: vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate? And all of us have got to get on board,” Justice declared.
“Vaccination really is the key element,” Dr. Clay Marsh summed up.
“We’re pleading with you, give us an arm to put a shot in,” Justice said.
Anyone over 65, who has not been vaccinated yet can call 833-734-0965. Homebound residents are particularly encouraged to call, Hoyer said.
Gov. Justice again encouraged church pastors to call to set up vaccination clinics for their congregations and offered the same opportunity for businesses and organizations.
As of next week, all health clinics in the state will be able to provide vaccine, Hoyer said, before also describing plans to involve food banks in the vaccination process during food distribution events.
There are more than 100 cases each of the U.K. and California variants in the state now, state health officials said.