MORGANTOWN — West Virginia expects to complete the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations at the 214 long-term care facilities by the end of this week, Gov. Jim Justice said during his Wednesday briefing.
He cited a Bloomberg report saying West Virginia leads the nation, for now, in administering the vaccine. As of Wednesday, the state had received 60,975 doses and administered 18,488.
Justice noted that Texas won’t even be starting its long-term care vaccination program until Monday, after West Virginia has completed its first round.
He taled at length again about the value of the vaccine and mentioned hearing of two teenage boys who said they won’t take the vaccine because they’ve heard the early recipients are guinea pigs and they could grow a third hand.
“Where in the word does this nonsense come from,” he asked. From adults, he said, trying to scare kids to death. “Let’s just don’t be silly.”
COVID-19 Czar Clay Marsh said as the state finish the first round of vaccinations in hospitals and nursing homes they want to turn to look at people working in critical industry sectors – teachers, food service, utilities – and start on those age 60 and up.
To get to that state, he said, they want to focus on vaccinating the vaccinators: those who work, for instance, at at physician offices and clinics and rural health centers.
Asked how people will be notified when their turn comes, Adjutant General James Hoyer said the Joint Interagency Task force has a Joint Information Center whose task it is to put out information and, for example, notify clinics and primary care networks who will get word to their patients.
Other COVID news
On non-vaccine matters, Justice has several times said that the elderly who develop symptoms of any kind should immediately seek medical care in order to get early antibody treatment such as that President Trump received when he acquired COVID.
There’s been some criticism of his comments because the treatment has been scarce and costly. But on Wednesday Bureau for Public Health Commissioner Ayne Amjad said the state has adjusted its proticolos for monoclonal antibody treatment to make it available to people who meet certain age and medical condition criteria.
If yo udevelop symptoms, she said, seek early help from your provider. The treatment is most effective when the disease is diagnosed within the first few days of onset.
Justice said the state’s child care subsidy money was exhausted in April but they’ve allocated another $6 million for and are expecting another $60 million from the feds. “Whatever it takes, I am absolutely going to continue to fund this. … Just sleep well that everything’s going to be fine.”
Justice fielded a political question on Trump’s scathing remarks of Congress’ combined COVID releif package and budget omnibus bill, which allots $600 stimulus checks to individuals – half of the $1,200 proposed and well shy of Trump’s $2,000 target.
Justice said that for some, $600 is a lot of money, but $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for couples is better – “a real bump and real security. … I am 100% behind what our president is saying.”
He complained once again about the political foot dragging in Congress. “You have got to be nauseated beyond belief watching the politicians in Washington D.C.”
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