COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice reports that Moderna is seeking FDA approval of its vaccine for use in children under 6 years old

4/28/2022

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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 and vaccine distribution efforts.
MODERNA SEEKS FDA AUTHORIZATION OF VACCINE FOR CHILDREN UNDER AGE 6
During Thursday’s briefing, Gov. Justice echoed a recent announcement by Moderna that the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize its vaccine for children under the age of 6, making it the first vaccine manufacturer to do so.

Currently, only children ages 5 or older can be vaccinated in the U.S., using Pfizer’s COVID vaccine.

“Parents of roughly 18 million of our youngest Americans – the only population group not yet eligible for vaccination – have been waiting for months for pediatric doses,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re very hopeful that the approval process will be smooth and successful.”
State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said that, once the vaccine receives approval in this age group, parents are encouraged to get their children vaccinated.

“We know that, although children generally have done better related to deaths and hospitalizations than adults, we know that the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome can be focused on children who have had COVID. Long COVID problems can also be focused on children,” Dr. Marsh said. “We hope that parents really do see this as an opportunity to protect their children from these complications of COVID-19, and also to help make sure that these children don’t infect other vulnerable, immunocompromised, or elderly people. Getting children vaccinated is very important.”
To-date, all West Virginians ages 5 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. After the primary series, first booster shots are recommended for those ages 12 and older.

Second booster shots have now been authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC for those ages 50 and over who are also at least four months removed from their first booster dose, as well as certain younger immunocompromised individuals ages 12 and older.

All West Virginians who qualify can immediately get this dose anywhere vaccines are available.

The state’s new COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator has been updated to determine whether people are eligible for a second booster dose.

Read more about vaccines at Vaccinate.wv.gov and at CDC.gov.
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
On Thursday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 799 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; up by 168 cases since his previous briefing on Monday.

Since reaching their most recent peak in late January, total active cases have decreased by 96.3% overall. However, over the past week, total active cases in West Virginia have gone up by 299.

COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov

Still, since nearing peak capacity in early February, COVID-related hospitalizations in West Virginia are down 92.1%, ICU patients are down 90.4%, and patients on ventilators are down 91.3%.
 
An updated breakdown of the West Virginia County Alert Map is as follows:
Red (0) | Orange (0) Gold (0) | Yellow (6) | Green (49)
COVID-19 RESOURCES
GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES MAJOR TURNPIKE UPGRADES
Also, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce that yesterday the West Virginia Parkways Authority awarded a contract for $24.8 million to technology company TransCore for critical upgrades to the toll collection system on the West Virginia Turnpike.

The project will be the biggest on the West Virginia Turnpike in 20 years.

The contract includes installation of state-of-the-art technology to expand E-ZPass and other forms of electronic payment to potentially allow cashless toll payments at all Turnpike toll booths if the Authority decides to pursue this in the future.

The project will also include upgrades to the Turnpike customer service software to make it easier and more efficient for customers to apply for an E-ZPass or transact other business with the Parkways Authority.

“A big reason that we’re able to do this now is the amazing success of our E-ZPass program, which gave West Virginians full access to the Turnpike at a real bargain,” Gov. Justice said. “With the additional monies that we’ve brought in from out-of-state drivers, these dollars are going right toward financing these big-time upgrades to the Turnpike.”

Full implementation of the new system is expected to take 18 months.

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GOV. JUSTICE CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF $16.5 MILLION PEPSICO BEVERAGES DISTRIBUTION CENTER
Gov. Justice also took time to recap his trip to Ona on Tuesday, where he joined officials with PepsiCo Beverages North America for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to commemorate the grand opening of their brand-new warehouse and distribution center in Cabell County.

“It was a good day. We’re really happy to have PepsiCo expanding in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “They’re going to be able to service a lot of folks in the area, as well as the surrounding states.”
The $16.5 million, 100,000-square-foot facility will distribute millions of cases of beverages per year to customers throughout West Virginia and Kentucky.

The facility will add several new positions to PepsiCo’s workforce in the state, while retaining 80 existing West Virginia jobs.

“What’s going on right now in our state is incredible,” Gov. Justice added. “The companies just keep coming or building up their operations here. They’re doing it because they see that the rocket ship ride I promised is truly happening. They see that we’re the diamond in the rough that they all missed. They see how valuable our hardworking West Virginians can be to their businesses. We’re on a roll. It’s all good stuff.”

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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

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