COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces West Virginia anticipating approximately 15,000 weekly doses of new Johnson & Johnson vaccine upon approval

2/26/2021


CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.

WEST VIRGINIA ANTICIPATING APPROXIMATELY 15,000 WEEKLY DOSES OF NEW JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE UPON APPROVAL
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.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia remains among the national leaders in the rate of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration.

As of Friday afternoon, 10.3 percent of West Virginia's entire population has received both doses of the vaccines; a rate so high that, if West Virginia were its own country, it would rank as the 7th-best rate of any nation in the world.
West Virginia has successfully administered 469,191 doses after receiving a total allotment of 520,535 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 90.1%.

West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard (Click “Vaccine Summary” tab)
West Virginia boasts a first dose administration rate of 87.7% and a second dose administration rate of 94.2%.
  • First doses: 285,654 administered / 325,745 allotted
  • Second doses: 183,537 administered / 194,790 allotted
The Governor also offered a reminder that free COVID-19 vaccination clinics either have been or will be held in all 55 counties across West Virginia by the end of this week through operation “Save Our Wisdom.”

The clinics are currently available for West Virginians who are 65 years of age and older. To date, 160,939 West Virginians age 65 and older have chosen to be vaccinated, including 89,697 who are now fully vaccinated.
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.

West Virginia was the first state in the nation to put a statewide vaccination pre-registration system in place. The new digital tool allows West Virginians to add themselves to a list of people who are interested in being vaccinated, and will notify those who sign up about the availability of vaccine doses to help streamline vaccination efforts.

To date, more than 297,000 West Virginians have signed up to be added to the pre-registration list.

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.

COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 7,800, down from 8,067 as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

The number of daily active cases in West Virginia has now decreased for 41 straight days.

The number of active hospitalizations is now 267, down from 292 on Wednesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 62 patients are in the ICU, down from 74 such patients on Wednesday.

The cumulative percent of positive cases has decreased to 5.48%, down from 5.49% on Wednesday.

Click here to view the latest COVID-19 data

FRIDAY MAP UPDATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided a look at West Virginia’s latest mid-week County Alert System map update.

The map is updated live on the DHHR’s COVID-19 Dashboard (Click "County Alert System" tab) throughout the week.

Red counties: 0
Orange counties: 7
Gold counties: 11
Yellow counties: 17
Green counties: 20

OUTBREAK REPORT
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.

AGGRESSIVE TESTING CONTINUES ACROSS STATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 51 counties across the state that have free testing events scheduled through the Governor’s Aggressive Testing initiative.
This testing is available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals. Proof of insurance is not required. Attendees should bring identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, to help in returning test results. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

An interactive online map of all free testing locations across West Virginia is available online. Users can filter the map by type of testing site, including daily testing events, recurring testing events, as well as Walgreens and Fruth Pharmacy testing locations. Users can also filter by county. Each location is marked on the map with a pin. After finding a testing location nearby, users are able to click on the pin for more information about that particular testing site, including the specific location and timeframe during which testing will be held.

Click here to view all locations, dates, times, and more details

GOVERNOR OPENS SPRING TROUT STOCKING SEASON
Additionally, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce that he had kicked off the spring trout stocking season earlier Friday morning, ceremonially stocking the first of over 1,400 trout that were released at Buffalo Creek today and announcing that, through his Spring Trout Stocking Initiative and other improvements to trout stocking efforts across West Virginia, 1.2 million fish will be stocked statewide this year.

“Many of the successes we are experiencing in our trout program are a direct result of the ongoing $30 million in hatchery renovations that Governor Justice directed our agency to undertake when he first came into office,” WVDNR Director Steve McDaniel said at Friday’s ceremony. “Once complete, these renovations will enable us to substantially increase the number of trout stocked annually, in addition to the numerous improvements already in place under Governor Justice’s leadership.”

In April 2019, Gov. Justice directed the WVDNR to improve its trout stocking methods by spreading out over longer sections of streams, allowing fish to be available to anglers at many new and exciting locations.

In 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Justice provided free fishing opportunities to West Virginia residents by dropping the requirement to possess a fishing license for several months. Gov. Justice also directed the WVDNR to implement additional improvements to its fall trout stocking method and add more lakes and streams to the stocking schedule.

Click here to read more

BUFFALO CREEK DISASTER ANNIVERSARY
Also, Gov. Justice made mention that Friday marked the 49th anniversary of the Buffalo Creek Disaster.

On February 26, 1972, a coal slurry dam collapse unleashed 132 million gallons of black waste water on several towns along Buffalo Creek, killing 125 West Virginians, injuring over 1,100, and leaving 4,000 people homeless.
“Forty-nine years goes by really fast, does it not? Through that 49 years, I can still remember it like it was yesterday; a tragedy beyond belief,” Gov. Justice said during Friday’s ceremony. “We always want to step back and remember all those wonderful folks we lost, all those that lost everything they had, and all those that were injured.”

Following the ceremony at Buffalo Creek Friday morning, Gov. Justice made his way to the nearby disaster memorial, where he placed an honorary wreath, presented by the local Lions Club, in memory of the lives that were lost and the lives that were forever changed as a result of the tragedy.

Click here to read more

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov. Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

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.

Contact Information

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

Contact

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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Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

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