CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials Wednesday for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
During the briefing, Gov. Justice announced that, beginning next week, West Virginia’s total weekly vaccine allocation from the federal government will increase from approximately 52,000 doses per week to approximately 72,000 doses per week.
As part of the plan for the increased allocation of doses, the Governor announced that he has ordered the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) to bolster vaccine delivery capabilities in the state’s Eastern Panhandle.
“Our vaccine numbers will increase significantly next week and that will give us a lot more flexibility,” said Joint Interagency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer. “We have seen some challenges at the local level in the Eastern Panhandle with the ability to get vaccines out and maintain other services. So, at the Governor’s direction, we have worked with several partners, including WVU Medicine, our local health officials, and others, to increase the capacity to deliver vaccines in the Eastern Panhandle.
“That effort is beginning as we speak and will ramp up significantly next week as we see more vaccines start to come in,” Hoyer continued.
“With our allocation going up, we need to amp up even more what we’re doing in the Eastern Panhandle, as well as all across our state,” Gov. Justice said. “We have a challenge, and we’re going to run to the fire like we always do and get that knocked out.”
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that the state will now begin the process of offering vaccinations to all inmates within the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, age 65 and older, who are interested in receiving the vaccine.
“We have a challenge within our corrections facilities, and we are immediately moving to get shots in the arms of everybody in these facilities that are 65 years of age and older that will accept and take a shot,” Gov. Justice said. “Once we get those done, we will fall right down to 50 and we will stay at it until everyone who wants a vaccine gets one.”
Gov. Justice went on to report that West Virginia has now successfully administered 812,015 doses after receiving a total allotment of 829,300 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 97.9%.
West Virginia currently boasts a first dose administration rate of 104.6%, which exceeds 100% due to extra doses being extracted from vials of the vaccine, and a second dose administration rate of 88.8%.
To date, 236,860 West Virginians age 65 and older have chosen to be vaccinated—over 72% of West Virginia’s population in this age range—including 177,608 who are now fully vaccinated.
Gov. Justice also reported Wednesday that the current number of active cases in the state is now 6,278, up from 6,252 as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Monday.
The number of active hospitalizations is now 237, up from 222 on Monday. Of those currently hospitalized, 80 patients are in the ICU, down from 83 such patients on Monday.
The cumulative percent of positive cases is now 5.26%, down from 5.27% on Monday.
Any West Virginians age 65 and older are urged to pre-register for an appointment by visiting vaccinate.wv.gov or calling the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1(833) 734-0965. 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.