COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice celebrates anniversary of vaccine arrival in West Virginia


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.
During his briefing, Gov. Justice commemorated the one-year anniversary today of the arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in West Virginia.

“West Virginia led the way for the entire nation right out of the gate,” Gov. Justice said. “While other states spent weeks cutting through federal red tape, West Virginia was getting the vaccine out to our most vulnerable people.”
West Virginia was the first state in the nation to offer vaccines to residents of all long-term care facilities across the state and was also the first state in the nation to launch an online, statewide COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration system.

The Governor also touted the success of vaccination incentive campaigns like the Do it for Babydog sweepstakes, Beat 588...Bad, the Call to Arms initiative, and others.

“Fast forward to today – one year later – and we’ve administered more than 2.2 million doses of the vaccine to West Virginia residents. We’ve vaccinated 82.4% of our people 50 and older and 90.2% of our people 65 and older,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve still got a bunch of folks out there that we need to get across the finish line, but we truly have saved a lot of lives.

“I’d like to take this time to really thank our doctors, our nurses, health departments, pharmacies, medical providers, and everyone who’s helped us get shots in arms, especially the DHHR, the National Guard, and our Joint Interagency Task Force,” Gov. Justice continued. “It has taken a real effort to coordinate all this, and these folks have done an incredible job.”

The Governor went on to once again encourage all eligible West Virginians to get their initial vaccinations or their booster shot as quickly as possible.
The FDA and the CDC have both recommend booster doses for all Americans ages 18 and older, provided that at least six months have passed since receiving their two-dose Pfizer/Moderna vaccine series or that at least two months have passed since receiving their one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

West Virginians can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with their vaccination card to receive their booster.

If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
Gov. Justice also took time to offer a reminder that tomorrow – Dec. 15, 2021 – is the deadline for West Virginians to apply for the Healthy Grandfamilies vaccination incentive program.

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.
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
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that registration for the “Do it for Babydog: Round 3” vaccine sweepstakes is officially closed.

The final group of winners will be announced later this week, with the grand prize being awarded on Friday.

However, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that registration is still open for the “Do it for Babydog: Senior Center Edition.”

Individuals ages 50 and older who have been fully vaccinated and who choose to receive their booster shot on or after Dec. 7, 2021 are eligible to receive a $50 prepaid visa gift card as an additional incentive to continue protecting themselves from COVID-19.
As part of the round of the program, four senior centers across the state with the highest overall vaccination rates will win a $100,000 grand prize and receive a visit from the Governor and Babydog.

Additional information is available at
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 8,002 active cases of COVID-19 statewide.

The cumulative percent positivity rate stands at 6.32%.

A total of 1,083,703 West Virginians – 63.8% of the eligible population ages 5 and older – have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Booster doses have now been administered to 276,955 people – or 30.5% of West Virginians who have received both doses of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine series or their dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

COVID-19 Dashboard |
Gov. Justice also reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 15 school outbreaks in 13 counties with 409 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 Outbreaks in State Public Schools (WVDE)
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