Governor: State surpasses 60% vaccination rate


Staff Report



CHARLESTON — During Thursday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced that over 60.1% of all West Virginians who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine have now received at least one dose.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, to date, 936,453 of 1,557,837 vaccine-eligible West Virginians have received their first shot.

“We’ve crossed a milestone; I knew we would,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.”

As part of the Governor’s recently announced “Call to Arms” vaccine initiative, State COVID-19 pandemic response leaders have set a goal of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 65% of all eligible residents ages 12 and older by West Virginia’s 158th birthday on June 20.

Pandemic response leaders also set goals of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 75% of residents ages 50 and older and 85% of residents ages 65 and older. West Virginia has already surpassed one of these marks, reaching a 76% vaccination rate in the 50+ age range. The State is also now less than three-tenths of a percent from achieving its goal in the 65+ age range, reaching a 84.7% vaccination rate in this category.

“Look at where we’re going. It’s great stuff; really good stuff,” Gov. Justice said. “The only stipulation is we’ve got to stop the deaths. We can do it. You need to step up and get vaccinated.”

Once again on Thursday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that online registration is now open for the Governor’s “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change a life” vaccination lottery. More than 70,000 West Virginians have already registered to win one of several major prizes that will be given away in the upcoming sweepstakes.

The prize giveaways include a $1.588 million grand prize, a $588,000 second prize, weekly drawings for $1 million, full scholarships to any West Virginia state college or university, custom-outfitted trucks, weekend vacations at state parks, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, and custom hunting rifles and shotguns.

All West Virginians ages 12 and older who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to register by visiting Doitforbabydog.wv.gov.

Lottery drawings will begin later this month with the first drawing scheduled to be held on Sunday, June 20 – also known as West Virginia Day in honor of the State’s birthday – with additional drawings continuing through Wednesday, Aug. 4.

On Thursday, Gov. Justice also offered a reminder that online registration is open for his “Beat 588…Bad” West Virginia Strong Vaccine Incentive Program.

All West Virginians ages 16-35 who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are able to register online to receive either a $100 savings bond or a $100 gift card.

The $100 incentive is retroactive, meaning all West Virginians ages 16-35 who have received the COVID-19 vaccine at any point are eligible.

COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians ages 12 and older.

All West Virginians interested in being vaccinated are urged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Gov. Justice recently modified West Virginia’s face covering requirement to align with updated CDC guidance, which says that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

The lifting of the face covering requirement only applies to those who have been fully vaccinated; meaning that at least two weeks have elapsed since the administration of a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or that at least two weeks have elapsed since the administration of a first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement is still in effect for all West Virginians who are not yet fully vaccinated, and will remain in effect for these individuals until June 20.

Face coverings must still be worn where required by federal law. Additionally, any private business or school system can still require individuals to wear a face covering.

According to the CDC, currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others.

On Thursday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now zero active inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system.

Meanwhile, there are now just two active staff cases across the DCR system, down from three such cases as of the Governor’s previous COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.

There are now four active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia, down from seven such outbreaks as of Tuesday. The active outbreaks are located in Monroe, Nicholas, and Pendleton counties and account for a total of 38 cases, down from 52 such cases as of Tuesday.

Additionally, there are now five active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state, down from six such outbreaks on Tuesday, according to the news release.

Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.

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Staff Report