COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice urges West Virginians to get booster shot following FDA, CDC approval for individuals ages 18 and older

11/19/2021

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CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing today to update the public on the State’s latest pandemic response efforts.
FDA, CDC APPROVE BOOSTER FOR ALL AMERICANS AGES 18+
During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice highlighted that the FDA has now officially approved use of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in all Americans ages 18 and older.

Shortly following Friday’s briefing, the CDC followed suit, opening up the booster to tens of millions more previously vaccinated individuals.

“In our last briefing on Wednesday, I went on a bit of a rant about these booster shots, telling you over and over that, if you’re 18 and above and it’s been long enough, you need to get your booster,” Gov. Justice said. “Sure as the world, this morning the FDA approved booster shots for everyone 18 and older.”
“If you’re 18 or older and you got Pfizer or Moderna six or more months ago, or if you got Johnson and Johnson two or more months ago, you qualify,” Gov. Justice continued. “Go to your pharmacy or health center and get that booster shot. Hopefully, this is the encouragement we need to move the needle a little bit.”
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
Individuals now may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster.

West Virginians can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with your vaccination card to receive the booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
GOV. JUSTICE PRESENTS $50,000 CHECKS TO TWO MORE OF WEST VIRGINIA’S HIGHEST-VACCINATED HIGH SCHOOLS
Gov. Justice also took time to recap his journey across the state Friday to present students and staff at two of the highest-vaccinated high schools in West Virginia each with $50,000 checks as winners in the West Virginia Department of Education’s I Got Vaxxed Competition.

Through the competition, a total of 12 public and private schools – four elementary schools, four middle schools, and four high schools – with the largest percentage of eligible vaccinated staff and students each won $50,000 to use for activities or initiatives which will improve the student experience.

On Friday, Gov. Justice and Babydog made stops at Grafton High School in Taylor County and Paden City High School in Wetzel County.

Click here to read more
“DO IT FOR BABYDOG: ROUND 3” WEEK 1 WINNERS ANNOUNCED; REGISTRATION REMAINS OPEN
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice announced that 126 lucky young West Virginians had been named winners in the first week of prize giveaways for the Do it for Babydog: Round 3 vaccination sweepstakes.

Mauren Fisher of Fairmont won this week’s individual grand prize of a $50,000 Educational Savings Fund, an additional 25 young West Virginians each won a prize of a $10,000 Educational Savings Fund, and another 100 individuals each won a Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License.

Click here to view the full list of winners
Online registration to be eligible to win in the next prize drawing will remain open until Sunday, Nov. 28, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Winners will be announced the week of Nov. 29.

Additional giveaways will also be held during the week of Dec. 6 and the week of Dec. 13.

Do it for Babydog: Round 3 is open to all West Virginians ages 5-18 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Children ages 5-17 must have parental consent to be vaccinated and to register.

*Those who previously registered for Round 1 and/or Round 2 of the vaccination sweepstakes are required to register again to be eligible for Round 3*
REGISTER AT DOITFORBABYDOG.WV.GOV
CASE NUMBERS & HOSPITALIZATIONS UPDATE
On Friday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 7,275 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; up by 813 cases since the Governor’s previous briefing on Wednesday.

COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov

The number of hospitalizations is now 511; down by 19 over the past week. Since peaking at 1,012, hospitalizations have dropped by 501 (49.5%).

The number of patients in ICUs is now 173; the exact same as Friday last week. Since peaking at 296, the number of patients in ICUs has dropped overall by 123 (41.6%).

The number of patients on ventilators is now 97; up by 10 over the past week. Despite the small increase, since peaking at 195, the number of patients on ventilators has dropped overall by 98 (50.3%).

The County Alert System map now features 3 green counties, 6 yellow counties, 5 gold counties, 19 orange counties, and 22 red counties.
Gov. Justice also reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 29 school outbreaks in 17 counties with 435 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 Outbreaks in State Public Schools (WVDE)
DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR HEALTHY GRANDFAMILIES VACCINATION INCENTIVE PROGRAM DEC. 15
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice reminded West Virginians that the deadline to apply to receive a $150 school voucher through the Healthy Grandfamilies vaccination incentive program is Dec. 15, 2021.

The Healthy Grandfamilies vaccination incentive program offers a $150 voucher for school supplies to all vaccinated grandfamilies in West Virginia: families where grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.
CLICK TO REGISTER
To qualify, all vaccine-eligible members of the grandfamily, including grandparents and grandchildren ages 5 and older, must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The family must also be enrolled in West Virginia State University’s Healthy Grandfamilies program. Enroll at healthygrandfamilies.com.

Healthy Grandfamilies, which provides information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren, is assisting in the administration of the school voucher incentive. According to the organization, about 19,000 West Virginia children live in households with a grandparent or grandparents as their primary caregiver.
COVID-19 RESOURCES
MOUNTAINEER CHALLENGE ACADEMY GRADUATES MILESTONE 5,000TH CADET
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce that the West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy program has reached a milestone of 5,000 cadets graduated since its inception in 1993.

Friday, the academy graduated 106 cadets as a part of Class 2 for 2021 at Camp Dawson, 91% of whom graduated with a high school diploma.

The MCA provides educational opportunities for at-risk youth, ages 16-18, in a 22-week quasi-military residential program focused on eight core components. In addition, the Mountaineer Job ChalleNGe Program is available on the campus for cadets or recent graduates who want to earn industry-recognized certifications in fields such as manufacturing, medical technician, pre-apprenticeship, energy sector, and more.
GUN BUCK SEASON OPENS MONDAY
Additionally, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that Gun Buck Season opens on Monday.

“I urge everyone over and over to be extra safe; wear your blaze orange and take every precaution in the world,” Gov. Justice said. “We want you to be able to safely enjoy the outdoors, have a wonderful time hunting and make memories that will last forever.”

To learn more about buck firearms season or to purchase a hunting license, click here.
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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

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Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

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