Marion County health officials update county commission on COVID vaccination efforts

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Lloyd White and Meagan Payne of the Marion County Health Department provided a COVID-19 update to the Marion County Commission on Wednesday.  

White addressed the concerns of the new COVID variant Omicron and said it’s been labeled a variant of concern and that the FDA is looking at vaccine effective against it. He said the only way to stop variants is if everyone gets vaccinated, which he doesn’t think will happen.  

Meagan Payne and Lloyd White speaking to the Marion County Commissioners (WBOY Image)

“My concern is at one point in time, and I don’t know when that’s going to be, I hope and pray that I’m wrong, but at some point, we’ll have a variant that’s absolutely vaccine resistant because what happens is each time that thing changes or mutates it has the potential to be a lot worse than the previous ones,” White said to the commissioners. 

He said the one thing that’s positive about this variant is that it’s easily detected with a PCR test so they should get results sooner if someone is tested for it. 

White also told the commissioners the health departments vaccination efforts are going well but he feels they could be better.  

“I’m disappointed that more people aren’t getting vaccinated with us,” White said. “However, I think some of the reasons are when we first started doing vaccinations, we were the only ones doing it. So, now you have Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, other folks are doing them, and to be quite frank I don’t care where they get it, as long as they get it.” 

He also mentioned that the state has closed three vaccination clinics within the last three weeks due to improper doses or medication errors.  

Marion County Health Department staff member giving the covid vaccine (WBOY Image)

Marion County averages nearly 27 new cases a day and nearly 22 vaccinations per day. 

Randy Elliott, President of the Marion County Commission encouraged people to get their boosters. 

“I just hope that somehow we get to herd immunity where we can fight this enough that it doesn’t keep spreading like it does… as long as we can find something to fight and combat that then I hope the public will be receptive and get the shot,” Commissioner Elliott said.  

Marion County Health Department’s Mobile Unit (WBOY Image)

From July 1, 2021, to Nov. 30, Marion County had 64 deaths from covid, all were 65 years or older except one person. White said by far the most deaths have been in the unvaccinated population. 

To learn more about the vaccines and to find a clinic you can visit the Marion County Health Department website. 

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