Following FDA approval, WV Gov. Jim Justice & state health officials encourage vaccinations for younger children


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “I wish I had something I could tell you other than to go get vaccinated. I wish we had more alternatives,” but with more than 92% of the state’s COVID deaths being unvaccinated residents, “all you can do is stack the odds in your favor. It just makes all the sense in the world to be vaccinated,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said during Wednesday’s virtual COVID-19 briefing.

With the announcement that Pfizer vaccines have been approved for five to 11-year-olds, the governor invited Dr. Jessica McColley, from Cabin Creek Health, to join the briefing. McColley introduced her seven-year-old son and gave him the shot, live on the broadcast. McColley suggested that parents be honest with their children about the shots, before taking them to get vaccinated, as opposed to springing it on them.

“We know from the medical community that this is best,” Justice said of vaccinating young children. Dr. Clay Marsh emphasized that studies have not shown complications for children who receive the vaccine.

The governor also suggested that if a significant enough number of younger children get vaccinated, it could lead to the end of school mask mandates around the state.

Gov. Justice also said that he believes that the state will announce plans for a new vaccine incentive program for younger residents, next week.

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