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West Virginia joins Ohio in opening up vaccinations to all residents 16 and older

VACCINATIONS EXPAND —W.Va.. Gov. Jim Justice, shown during the State of the State Address in the House Chambers of the West Virginia State Capitol Building in Charleston on Feb. 10, announced Monday that West Virginians 16 and older can now get in line for a COVIC-19 vaccination. -- Associated Press

CHARLESTON — As active cases begin to increase again in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday that all residents age 16 and older can now get in line for a COVID-19 vaccine, though focus remains on older residents.

“Let’s go, West Virginia, and let’s get everybody in this state vaccinated,” Justice said. “Beginning right now, if you’re 16 years of age and older and you want to get vaccinated and get into one of our clinics, we’ll get it done.”

West Virginia’s decision to open up vaccinates for all eligible residents follows Ohio, Alaska and Mississippi. Last Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the vaccine would be available to all residents of his state beginning March 29.

West Virginia opened up eligibility to residents age 16 and older with underlying medical conditions last week. President Joe Biden set a national goal of opening up vaccine eligibility to all by May 1.

West Virginia has fully vaccinated 15 percent of the state’s 1.79 million residents against COVID-19 since the first doses arrived last December, while nearly 25 percent of residents have at least one shot. The state receives weekly shipments of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, both of which require two doses, as well as the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“As we continue to lead the way with our vaccine distribution, we don’t want to take our foot off the gas,” Justice said. “I encourage all West Virginians to take advantage of this opportunity and get vaccinated.”

Residents are encouraged to go to vaccinate.wv.gov and pre-register for the Everbridge system or call the West Virginia COVID-29 Vaccine Info Line at (833) 734-0965 for assistance with pre-registration. Justice stressed that the state’s focus remains on getting older residents vaccinated as quickly as possible.

We’re going to continue prioritizing all those 65 years of age and older, but at the same time we’ve got to get more and more and more West Virginians and now is our time,” Justice said.

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