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Justice and team describe vaccine partnership with Walgreens

MORGANTOWN – Gov. Jim Justice and his team talked about the new Walgreens partnership with the state to administer an extra 5,800 vaccine doses per week across West Virginia.

Walgreens is the state’s designated partner for the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.

The 5,800 doses for Walgreens are on top of the 28,800 weekly Operation Warp Speed doses, said Joint Interagency Task Force Director James Hoyer. Right now, Walgreens is part of and working with the JIATF and is receiving names of eligible residents – those age 65 and up, and critical health care workers – from the Everbridge online preregistration system.

Local Walgreens stores receive the names of residents in their locale and contact them for appointments, Hoyer said. As Everbridge develops, that system will eventually take care of appointments and contact residents to let them know when and where to show up.

The Dominion Post raised a question about appointment no-shows, citing news that some cities in other states are seeing large numbers of no-shows and then have to throw away doses or, in some cases, give them to people who linger at clinics all day hoping to score an unclaimed shot.

Hoyer said the state works with each local entity to be prepared for no-shows and to have back-up lists. The lists focus on age requirements and the targeted population. If no one meets the requirement, the instruction is to get the dose into an arm so it isn’t wasted.

“The governor and his team are exceptionally proud of the work going on at the local-level clinics to make sure we do not waste a dose,” Hoyer said.

Justice fielded a question about both houses of the Legislature looking at bills to limit gubernatorial emergency powers, in scope and duration.

Justice said he’s been working with the Legislature all the time in a mode of total transparency.

“I’m going to do the same thing for another four years,” he said, and quoted his dad: “If it’s working, don’t fix it.”

He added that he’s handled all the aspects of the pandemic well.

“You tell me where we’ve not knocked it flat out of the park,” he said. “It could have been handled very poorly, differently, too.”

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