W.Va. expects more vaccine doses next week

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Stickers and a button given to people who receive their COVID-19 vaccines are displayed Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at the National Guard Armory in Charleston, W.Va. West Virginia has emerged an unlikely success in the nation's otherwise chaotic vaccine rollout.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia will receive more doses of coronavirus vaccines next week, Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday, as the number of active cases statewide continues to decline.

The Republican governor said at a news conference that in addition to the doses that have been promised for next week, an additional 3,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine will be sent to the state.

The state is holding 25 vaccination clinics across 17 counties this week specifically for residents aged 65 and older. Over 87,500 doses have been administered to senior citizens so far.

“We do not have enough doses to go around to everybody,” Justice said about the age group.

West Virginia has gone 11 straight days without at least 1,000 daily confirmed cases of the virus. According to state health figures, the last time that happened was a 14-day stretch in late November and early December.

And for the past 11 days, the number of active cases have dipped each day. The 23,571 active cases are the lowest since Dec. 23 and a 19% drop since peaking at 29,257 on Jan. 10.

The 550 people hospitalized for the virus statewide is the lowest amount since Nov. 27 and represents a 33% drop from the record 818 hospitalizations on Jan. 5.

“We’re getting better and we’ve just got to stay the course,” Justice said.

There have been at least 1,953 virus-related deaths.

About 171,000 people, or 9.6% of the state’s 1.78 million population, have received at least one of the two doses of the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. More than 46,000 people are fully immunized after receiving two doses, which are spaced out by a few weeks. That’s 2.6% of the population.

While doses are available to members of the general public ages 65 and up, all West Virginians can pre-register online to get the vaccine, Justice said. Vaccine clinics will be held next week in all 55 counties, he said.

U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin said Wednesday that the Cabell-Huntington Health Department will receive $1.1 million and the state Office of the Adjutant General will get $577,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help distribute the vaccines.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.