Local health official reacts to new CDC COVID guidelines, lower vaccine age limit

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted throughout the state, the vaccine age limit decreases.

After previously limiting vaccinations to the general population ages 65 and up, all West Virginia residents ages 50 and up are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

“We have vaccinated a large proportion of our 65 and above,” said Fayette County Health Officer Dr. Anita Stewart. “Once we got to at least 50% of our population, Governor Justice said he would lower that to 50, which he has done.”

A local concern remains the number of people registered to be vaccinated. With three vaccines now available, there could be more supply then demand as vaccine availability increases.

“With the increases in federal vaccine allocation to states, we, in the next six weeks, will likely have more vaccine than we have people signed up for the vaccine,” Stewart said.

Updated CDC guidelines suggest those who are at least 14 days clear from being fully vaccinated can engage in specific social scenarios without a mask.

“If it was a two-dose or two weeks from your initial Johnson and Johnson Janssen dose, you can safely visit friends and family in a one-family type of scenario,” Stewart said.

Also from the CDC, those who are two weeks fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine in the case of an exposure.

“If you have been vaccinated and you’re exposed to someone with COVID and you’re fully vaccinated, it’s been two weeks from your vaccine and you don’t have symptoms, you would not need to quarantine,” Stewart said.

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