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

Justice announces zero COVID-19-related deaths reported in past 24 hours; state to receive 15,500 doses of new vaccine this week

CHARLESTON — During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that zero new COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in West Virginia over the past 24 hours.

“This is something that has been a long time coming,” Gov. Justice said. “I am so delighted by this, it’s unbelievable.”

This marks the first time since Nov. 27, 2020, where West Virginia has gone a full day without a single COVID-19-related death being reported.

“West Virginia, you’re doing better; it’s really, really good,” Gov. Justice said. “But, on Saturday and Sunday, we still had nine deaths reported. We hate like crazy to think about these nine people, and absolutely all their families that are hurting and all their loved ones. Please don’t let them become just a statistic.”

Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that, following the FDA’s emergency authorization of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend, West Virginia is set to receive an initial allocation of 15,500 doses of the new vaccine this week.

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.

In addition, the Governor announced that West Virginia will also be receiving 36,270 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 34,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week.

“We’re ready for these doses. We’re going to knock them out just as fast as they get here,” Gov. Justice said. “Again, I thank all those that have pushed and pushed on the federal government to get us more vaccines.”

Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice announced that nearly half of all West Virginia residents age 65 and older have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through operation “Save Our Wisdom.”

The SOW vaccination clinics, which continue to operate in all 55 counties statewide each week, have now provided vaccinations to 170,512 West Virginians age 65+, including 99,528 who are now fully vaccinated.

“This is one of the numbers we should absolutely be most proud of,” Gov. Justice said. “I want to continue to encourage all those age 65 and older to get registered.”

Each clinic location has its own, unique schedule. Names are being pulled from the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System to fill out appointments after waitlists are exhausted. All clinics require appointments and walk-ins will not be accepted.

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

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