Gov. Justice calls on federal government to supply more vaccine doses to West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice said that he and other state pandemic response leaders are “pushing as hard as we can” – urging the federal government to supply more doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to West Virginia.

“We’re going through every channel we can go through,” said Gov. Justice, who participated in a national COVID-19 leadership call on Wednesday with members of President Joe Biden’s administration, other governors across America, United States COVID-19 Czar Jeff Zients, and others.

“One thing that I cannot get straight in my head is you have states all across this country that have hundreds of thousands or millions of vaccines that are not in somebody’s arm, they’re in a warehouse,” Gov. Justice continued. “Hours mean something – not days, weeks, or months – hours mean something to try to save somebody’s life.”

According to the latest numbers posted to the CDC’s National Vaccination Tracker, out of the 57.4 million vaccine doses that have been delivered to states across America, only 35.2 million have been administered to date; an overall administration rate of 61.2 percent. Meanwhile, West Virginia has successfully administered 294,059 of the 328,600 total doses that have been delivered in the state to date; an overall administration rate of 89.4 percent.

“There’s more than 20 million vaccines in our nation, right now, that aren’t in someone’s arm,” Gov. Justice said. “I just haven’t been able to break through yet on the fact that we ought to be going and getting some of those vaccines and moving them around the chess board to states that are out of vaccines or states that are absolutely good at what they’re doing, and there’s none better than our health people, our national guard, and all the great people that are doing this in West Virginia.

“But we’re pushing,” Gov. Justice continued. “And we’re going to keep pushing just as hard as we can.”

Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice once again reported that West Virginia remains among the national leaders in the rate of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration.

According to the latest vaccine numbers posted to the COVID-19 Dashboard (Click “Vaccine Summary” tab), West Virginia now boasts a first dose administration rate of 99.1 percent and a second dose administration rate of 73.2 percent.

West Virginia has administered the highest rate of second vaccine doses per capita of any state in the nation, according to the CDC’s vaccination tracker.

West Virginia also remains among the best states in the nation for overall vaccine supply used, according to Bloomberg.com’s vaccination tracker.

To date, West Virginia has administered 205,252 first doses and 88.807 second doses, totaling 294,059 doses administered overall statewide, including 15,088 administered in the past 24 hours alone.

The Governor went on to offer a reminder that free COVID-19 vaccination clinics either have been or will be held in all 55 counties across West Virginia by the end of this week through operation “Save Our Wisdom.”

Visit vaccinate.wv.gov to view all current clinic locations and schedules.

The clinics are available for West Virginians who are 65 years of age and older. Residents from any county in West Virginia may access an appointment at any of the vaccination clinics listed, regardless of their county of residence.

The earliest of this week’s clinics began Wednesday. However, different locations will be open on different days through Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. Each location has its own, unique schedule.

Many clinics are listed as full as they are utilizing existing waitlists. However, West Virginians can now pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine through the West Virginia COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration system at vaccinate.wv.gov. All clinics require appointments and walk-ins will not be accepted.

Last week, West Virginia became the first state in the nation to put a statewide vaccination pre-registration system in place. The new digital tool allows West Virginians to add themselves to a list of people who are interested in being vaccinated, and will notify those who sign up about the availability of vaccine doses to help streamline vaccination efforts.

To date, more than 199,000 West Virginians have signed up to be added to the pre-registration list.

West Virginians age 16 and older can pre-register online or call the COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line (1-833-734-0965) to get help pre-registering.

Pre-registering in the system does not automatically grant users access to a vaccine appointment. Rather, users will receive a message from the system when there is a vaccine available. When that occurs, users will be notified by text, email, or phone call to set up an appointment.