Justice Continues To Urge Vaccine Booster Shots

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports, as of Sunday, Oct.31, that there are 7,364 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the Mountain State, 5,579 of which are the more contagious Delta variant of the virus. There have been 272,532 cases reported since the onset of the pandemic. A total of 4,426 residents have now succumbed to complications stemming from COVID-19, with an additional 110 new deaths being reported between Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29.

During his Friday media briefing, Gov. Jim Justice once again stressed the importance of receiving vaccine booster shots, saying, “We control our destiny.”

“Even as our numbers continue to fall, as sad as it may be, we’re still going to lose a bunch more people, and it’s a shame because we are in control of this,” Justice said. “We just need to get ourselves vaccinated.”

Currently, 1,010,729 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in West Virginia, accounting for 56.4% of the state’s population. According to the CDC, at 77.9%, the national vaccination rate is more than 21% higher than that of West Virginia. Greenbrier County’s average of 54.3% is even further behind the rest of the country.

“Those of you out there that were fully vaccinated, your immune protection is depleting,” Justice said. “If you’re six months out from being fully vaccinated, especially if you’re 65 and older, the amount of protection has probably drifted from 90 – 95% down to 15 – 30%. The only choice we’ve really got is to get our booster shot, and it will ramp your protection back up.”

Pocahontas County reports that 51.9% of its residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In Monroe County, the percentage is only 42.5%.

At present, 575 West Virginians are hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 181 of them being cared for in the state’s intensive care units. A total of 115 residents are currently receiving treatment through ventilators.


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