MORGANTOWN – Gov. Jim Justice acknowledged on Monday that the end of COVID-19 isn’t on the horizon.
“I really don’t believe it’s going away,” he said. For the foreseeable future, he said, people may need to keep getting vaccine boosters every six months. “If that’s the worst that we have to do in life, well it’s not too bad.”
And meanwhile, he said, we keep waiting on someone to come up with the miracle that ends it.
“This is the new way of life for a while,” he said.
COVID-19 Czar Clay Marsh agreed. “COVID-19 has done things that we haven’t expected during many turns during this pandemic,” he said.
For one, it continues to mutate. “That may force us to address COVID differently, perhaps with a new kind of vaccine.”
Marsh noted that COVID deaths have surpassed 5 million worldwide, with more than 740,000 in the U.S. – the highest total for any nation. Encouragingly, though, more than 7 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, with more than 420 million in the U.S.
Justice also addressed a question about vaccine booster doses administered in West Virginia. Total vaccine doses exceed 1.9 million, but only 45,056 have been boosters.
Justice admitted that’s not enough. And if the numbers stay low: “What are we going to need to do? … We’re going to need to get more body bags.”