CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials Monday for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia will start offering COVID-19 vaccines to all state residents age 16 and older, beginning immediately.
“As we continue to lead the nation with our vaccine distribution, we do not want to let our foot off the gas,” Gov. Justice said. “I encourage all West Virginians to take advantage of this opportunity and get vaccinated.”
West Virginians who are age 65 and older will continue to be prioritized first until all state residents in that age range who desire to receive the vaccine have been vaccinated.
“At the same time, we have got to get more and more West Virginians vaccinated, and now is our time,” Gov. Justice said. “Let’s go, West Virginia. Let’s get everyone in the state vaccinated. That’s our goal.”
Gov. Justice went on to encourage all West Virginians age 16 and older wishing to be vaccinated to pre-register at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line at 1-833-734-0965.
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that all fairs, festivals, and similar events will be allowed to resume, beginning Saturday, May 1, 2021.
“These events are part of the fabric of our state. We want them to go on,” Gov. Justice said. “I expect all these events to continue following all safety guidelines in order to keep West Virginians safe if they choose to attend these events.”
Gov. Justice added that updated safety guidelines will be issued later this week on the West Virginia Strong – The Comeback page of the Governor’s website.
“Unless there’s a real backslide with our numbers, we plan to have all of our fairs and festivals as we try to get back to some level of normalcy,” Gov. Justice said.
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia has now successfully administered 709,830 doses after receiving a total allotment of 737,730 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 96.2%.
West Virginia currently boasts a first dose administration rate of 102.2%, which exceeds 100% due to extra doses being extracted from vials of the vaccine, and a second dose administration rate of 87.7%.
First doses: 441,903 administered / 432,240 allotted
Second doses: 267,927 administered / 305,490 allotted
Vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians age 16 and older. However, West Virginians who are age 65 and older will continue to be prioritized first until all state residents in this age range who desire the vaccine have been vaccinated.
To date, 221,739 West Virginians age 65 and older have chosen to be vaccinated, including 150,487 who are now fully vaccinated. Including doses from the Veterans Administration and from the Federal Pharmacy Partnership with Walgreens, 70% of West Virginia’s 65 and older population has now been vaccinated.
Any West Virginians age 65 and older who are still waiting on an appointment are urged to call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1 (833) 734-0965 to ensure that they are scheduled to be vaccinated. The info line is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Governor provided a reminder of his announcement Friday that, in order to provide all West Virginians age 65 and older with better access to vaccinations, he has directed the Joint Interagency Task Force to set up three fixed-location clinics across the state to vaccinate West Virginia’s wisdom.