Gov. Jim Justice / Photo courtesy W.Va. Governor's Office

Gov. Justice announces new, comprehensive strategy to protect more West Virginians by expanding vaccine access

CHARLESTON — During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia will be implementing several new ideas to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible than ever, as part of comprehensive efforts to increase vaccination rates across the state.

“We are going to immediately begin taking the vaccine clinics to the unvaccinated by using fixed sites and mobile sites,” Gov. Justice said.

The Governor announced that vaccination sites will be set up at several high-traffic locations across the state, including fairs and festivals, church parking lots, sporting events, state, national, and county parks, bars, restaurants, shopping centers, and malls, community and civic groups, and business organizations such as Main Street programs.

Vaccines will also be offered through organizations like the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services and other home health agencies, as well as through related programs such as Meals on Wheels.

Additionally, the Governor said that State health officials will collaborate with hospitals and healthcare facilities to vaccinate patients on discharge, move messaging through primary care providers, open up vaccine availability to doctor’s offices and practices, and encourage physicians and medical professionals to engage with their local community clubs and organizations to push vaccine messaging.

“We are going to focus on new communication strategies to be able to really target our younger people through social media and streaming services,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re also going to reach out to the local EMS agencies to enhance vaccination opportunities.”

The Governor added that he is encouraging local businesses to offer discounts for getting vaccinated or to provide other incentives to employees..

“If we have to go door-to-door, we’ll go door-to-door on community-based outreach as well,” Gov. Justice said. “Really and truly, we know these vaccines are incredibly safe and we know what can happen for those who are exposed and what is happening all across this land.

“We’ve got to do any and everything to be able to get our people finally across the top of the mountain.”

To find vaccination locations across the state, click here.

ADDITIONAL VACCINE INITIATIVES ALREADY UNDERWAY

Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reminded West Virginians of multiple initiatives that are already underway to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

The Governor once again noted that, in order to curb the high number of younger West Virginians who remain unvaccinated, West Virginia is offering a $100 incentive to all residents ages 16-35 who choose to get vaccinated.

The Governor also reiterated his announcement Friday that free COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at all West Virginia State Parks and State Forests between now and Memorial Day.

Several state park and forest locations will host clinics prior to Memorial Day. Then, on Memorial Day weekend, all West Virginia State Parks and Forests will offer vaccines to employees, employees’ families, and park guests. Further details will be posted at WVstateparks.com as they become available.

CHILD CARE SUBSIDY EXTENSION

Also, Gov. Justice announced that he has extended child care subsidy assistance for all essential workers of any income level.

“It is critically important that all our essential workers continue to be supported in every way as they work to combat COVID-19,” Gov. Justice said. “This act of financial support enables our essential workers to know that we value their work, and gives them continued assurance of the safety and care provided to their children through West Virginia’s child care system.

“Thank you all for all you’ve done and all you continue to do in every way,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’re going to stand steadfast behind you and try to help you in every way we can.”

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