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Latest COVID Spike Passes, But Pandemic Remains

Booster shots are now recommended for millions of Americans.
Alejandra Villa Loarca
/
Newsday via Getty Images
Booster shots are now recommended for millions of Americans.

It’s possible the latest coronavirus surge has already passed us by, but that doesn’t mean things are over.

During Friday’s COVID-19 press conference, coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh said that a reduction in the number of cases suggests the peak of the BA.5 omicron variant surge has passed in the state.

However, he echoed warnings from Gov. Jim Justice that the pandemic is far from over. Marsh advised West Virginians to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, calling the current death rate unacceptable.

“This to me is an opportunity moment for us, in West Virginia, to continue to see our deaths go down,” Marsh said. “We still are seeing too many people in West Virginia and the United States die every day from a preventable, treatable disease.”

Marsh also advised West Virginians to get their flu shots, saying the flu had the potential to be a “significant issue” this year.

There continues to be lingering confusion in the state about who, when and most recently where the omicron bivalent boosters can be accessed. Marsh clarified that anyone who meets the requirements can receive either Moderna or Pfizer boosters.

“Now one caveat here is that we will see at least immediately more Pfizer omicron booster shots than Moderna,” he said. “Moderna did have some production issues, some supply chain issues. So the federal government is providing more Pfizer omicron booster shots than Moderna immediately. That should even up over a short period of time, but we know that it's safe to mix and match.”

North Central/Morgantown Reporter, cschulz@wvpublic.org, 304-284-1497, @SchulzReports

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