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West Virginia anticipating approximately 15,000 weekly doses of new Johnson & Johnson vaccine upon approval

CHARLESTON — During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia officials expect to receive an initial weekly allotment of approximately 15,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, pending U.S. FDA authorization of the vaccine for emergency use.

West Virginia could receive its first shipment of the new vaccine as soon as next week.

Following the Governor’s briefing Friday afternoon, the FDA’s independent advisory committee met to discuss Johnson & Johnson’s request for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). While the committee voted in favor of recommending that the FDA approve the EUA, that final step has not been taken yet, meaning that the FDA has not yet granted authorization for emergency use for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“If this comes to pass, next week our total doses in West Virginia should approach 60,000 between Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer combined,” Gov. Justice said. “That’s great, great news and we’re ready for it.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot, unlike the two-shot dosing for the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and it does not require special refrigeration for shipment and storage, making it particularly appealing for use in West Virginia’s rural areas.

All West Virginians over the age of 16 are encouraged to pre-register at vaccinate.wv.gov.

Vaccine supplies are limited, so pre-registration does not mean immediate access to vaccination. Pre-registration offers West Virginians the opportunity to receive real-time updates on vaccine availability and schedule an appointment when available as vaccine supplies allow. The vaccine registration system allows people to select their preferences for communication through text, email, or voicemail over regular phone lines.

West Virginians who need assistance with registration for any reason should call the COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line for help at 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.

The Governor went on to say that increased emphasis on pre-registrations is needed in a handful of counties across the state, including Berkeley, Jackson, Jefferson, Mason, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Morgan, and Wayne counties. The Governor urged West Virginians in these counties with friends and family age 65 and older to help these individuals get pre-registered.

Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice reported that there remains just one church-related outbreak in West Virginia. This outbreak is in Webster County and accounts for a total of just five cases.

There are now nine outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state, down from 14 such outbreaks as of the Governor’s previous briefing on Wednesday.

The Governor also reported that there are now 37 cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, up from 22 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, there are now 15 active staff cases across the DCR system, up from 10 on Wednesday. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

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