Governor’s Update - January 17

CHARLESTON — On Monday, Gov. Justice held his first COVID-19 briefing since testing positive for the disease early last week.

Instead of conducting the briefing from the normal location inside the governor’s Reception Room, Gov. Justice opted to hold the briefing secluded away from the rest of his staff in his private office.

The governor opened his briefing by discussing his bout with COVID-19 and thanking the countless West Virginians who offered their thoughts and prayers over the past week.

“I’ve got to admit, it’s been difficult, that’s for sure,” Gov. Justice said. “But, by the grace of God above, I made it through.

“As for all your well-wishes, I am beyond humbled,” Gov. Justice continued. “To just say ‘thanks’ almost seems inadequate. But I can tell you that I will never forget it.”

Following his bout with COVID-19, Gov. Justice increased the intensity of his pleas for all eligible West Virginians to get vaccinated or boosted.

“I believe that God has given us the ability to create medicines to try to save our lives, and I truly believe that my choice to get vaccinated and boosted saved my life,” Gov. Justice said. “I don’t believe in mandates. But I can share my personal experience and say that these vaccines are safe and they could very well save your life. And me being here, talking to you right now, may be a testimony to exactly just that.

“So I encourage you; if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, get your vaccination. If you need your booster shot, get your booster shot.”

The CDC and FDA have authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 booster for use in children ages 12 to 15, meaning that booster shots are now authorized for all West Virginians ages 12 and older.

The CDC and FDA have also shortened the waiting period to get the Pfizer booster from six months after receiving the initial series of shots to five months.

The FDA has approved and is encouraging booster doses for all Americans over 12 years old.

Read more about booster eligibility at