CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – During a press conference, Governor Jim Justice announced that the mountain state is taking action to get more people informed, educated, and vaccinated against COVID-19 through a new campaign called “Beat 588…Bad,” an initiative that will do just that– meet the goal of beating 588,000 people not yet vaccinated.
“You will see the rollout of an initiative that is not going on anywhere else,” says Gov. Justice. “You will see a rollout that is happening in West Virginia immediately that is absolutely going to try to move the needle again.”
The idea for this campaign came from the number of eligible people able to get vaccinated in West Virginia being 1,470,000, 40% of which is 588,000 people. Justice says the majority of these people are younger, and while may be willing to, have found getting the vaccine to be an inconvenience.
“We need to continue to try to market and explain, and penetrate that number of people who are just adamantly saying they aren’t going to get it,” he states.
By increasing the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to the segment of the population that’s lagging, the state hopes it will bring COVID-related deaths to a halt and get the spread of the virus under more control. Gov. Justice also announced that the state has requested to reduce the number of vaccine doses in each vial in order to conserve the doses.
“If we have the smaller vials we will be able to do a more efficient job in minimizing waste,” Justice says. “By minimizing waste in every way, we will be able to do a more efficient job in our hospitals, and we will be able to get to our smaller communities.”
Over 5,000 people in the state have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, only three of which have actually died from the virus, a statistic that Gov. Justice prompts everyone to keep in mind and use as inspiration to get vaccinated.