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Health & Science

Justice: West Virginia’s Vaccine Supply Short-Changed By Feds

Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography
Photo courtesy of West Virginia Legislative Photography.

Supply remains the only obstacle for the state's ongoing coronavirus vaccine rollout, Gov. Jim Justice said at a virtual press briefing Tuesday.

Justice, who has earned praise for vaccination efficiency, confirmed that, confirmed that West Virginia only received half of the doses promised by the federal government this week. Other states have been short-changed too, after it was reported the federal government did not have a reserve of second doses to draw from.

“That is absolutely inadequate...It's not acceptable,” Justice said.

The state did receive 23,000 doses this week.The state was expecting around 60,000 at one point.

Justice said West Virginia not only has the ability to vaccinate more people, but it has the need. It has an aging population and poor health outcomes.

Despite supply shortfalls, the state lowered its age for COVID-19 vaccination to 65, after the Centers for Disease Control recommended the move last week.

West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources announced that 16 county clinics are dispersing vaccines across the state this week. Those 65 and older are encouraged to make appointments.

Justice also announced another clinic opening in Morgantown Thursday and Friday. He said this one is taking a “hub model” approach and will be run by West Virginia University Medicine, rather than the state national guard. It will operate out of the former Sears store at the Morgantown Mall.

The state has recorded 1,815 deaths due to COVID-19. That’s more than one for every 1,000 people in the state.

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