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‘There's An Endpoint’ — First Group In W.Va. Vaccinated For COVID-19

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On this West Virginia Morning, we visit Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown where the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, developed and rolled out on a record timeline, are being administered to healthcare workers. Also, we hear from an infectious disease expert in Huntington to understand the impact of this major development in science.

Many people across West Virginia and the nation are breathing a sigh of relief as a coronavirus vaccine is being distributed and administered. Health experts say the arrival of vaccines won’t make the pandemic disappear immediately, and residents should continue wearing a mask, social distancing and remain cautious. But the vaccine is certainly welcome after a long, exhausting nine months with a virus that has killed more than 1,000 West Virginians and more than 300,000 Americans. Senior reporter Dave Mistich got a firsthand look into the initial phase of the vaccine’s rollout.

Now that the first coronavirus vaccine is being administered to West Virginians, just days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it, Emily Allen spoke with Dr. Kara Willenburg, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Marshall University. Willenburg, who also handles infection control for Cabell Huntington Hospital, has become kind of a “de facto COVID coordinator” for her division. What started with reviewing mask guidance in March has turned into preparing hospital staff on what to anticipate with the vaccine.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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