CHARLESTON — During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that, over the weekend, West Virginia hosted the world’s first COVID-19 vaccination clinic onsite at a Toyota plant.
“Using partnerships between community health centers, pharmacies, and the National Guard, we were able to administer 900 vaccines to employees and family members at the Toyota plant in Buffalo, West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s really great stuff.”
The clinic was part of the West Virginia pandemic response leadership team’s ongoing efforts to expand access to COVID-19 vaccinations across the state.
The Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) continues to reach out to manufacturers and businesses across the state to increase vaccine access for employees and their families choosing to be vaccinated.
Gov. Justice also announced that, beginning this week, West Virginia will be among the first states in the nation to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to family members and caregivers of residents and staff members at nursing homes and assisted living facilities as part of the vaccine plan for long-term care facilities.
“We continue to lead the nation in protecting our most vulnerable West Virginians at our long-term care facilities,” Gov. Justice said.
West Virginia was the first state in the nation to vaccinate residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities and was also among the first states to implement a statewide vaccine maintenance program to ensure new residents and staff members at these facilities would be vaccinated as well.
“And now, West Virginia will be among the first in the nation to expand our vaccine maintenance plan to include family members of residents and staff,” Gov. Justice said. “That’s a big, big step forward.”
Facilities will schedule vaccinations in conjunction with visits by family members and other scheduled vaccine clinics at the facility.
FEDERAL PHARMACY PARTNERSHIP TO FURTHER EXPAND VACCINE ACCESS
Gov. Justice also announced that, beginning this week, Walmart and additional independent pharmacies will begin receiving doses of COVID-19 vaccines as part of the federal pharmacy partnership, allowing even more West Virginians to get vaccinated.
These pharmacies will join Walgreens and the Med Shoppe/Leader network of pharmacies as locations in West Virginia receiving doses from the federal government.
West Virginians can go to vaccinefinder.org for assistance in locating and securing an appointment at one of these federal pharmacy partners.
JIATF DIRECTOR JIM HOYER CALLS UPON CHURCHES TO ORGANIZE ADDITIONAL CLINICS
Also on Monday, Joint Interagency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer called upon churches across West Virginia to contact the JIATF for help organizing vaccination clinics for interested members of their congregations.
“If you are a church pastor, if you have a congregation that hasn’t had the opportunity to get vaccinated, but wants to be vaccinated and wants to bring family members age 16 and above, contact us and we will work with you to vaccinate your congregation,” Hoyer said. “We know that, sometimes, people are more comfortable working through their church congregations. We can help you get to that point, and we will work with the counties and the other entities to get you taken care of.”
GOV. JUSTICE HOLDS PRAYER TO COMMEMORATE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST COVID-19-RELATED DEATH
Also during his briefing, Gov. Justice noted that Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19-related death recorded in West Virginia.
In commemoration of this solemn day in West Virginia history and in honor of the 2,638 West Virginians who have passed away due to COVID-19 over the past year, Gov. Justice held a moment of silence and offered a prayer.