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Vaccine education efforts not going unheard

Vaccine education efforts by Governor Jim Justice’s office are not going unheard.

During the governor’s weekly press conference on Friday, Major General James Hoyer with the West Virginia COVID Response Joint Interagency Task Force, announced that from April 6-May 6, 6,481 West Virginians have opted to get their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Hoyer said the majority of those who choose to move forward and get their vaccine is based on the education efforts by the governor.

“We still got people dying in West Virginia, don’t we? And a lot of them,” Justice said, referencing the 10 additional lives lost in the state due to COVID just in the last week.

Justice compared the loss this week to the infamous 2006 Sago Mine disaster where 13 miners were trapped with only one survivor.

“This is the dadgum near equivalent to that — and it’s a good day,” the governor said.  “We’ve had many, many days a lot worse than this.”

“Of those that got their first shot in the last 30 days — Is it worth us coming in here and talking about it?,” Justice asked rhetorically.  “How many of that number did we save their life?  Is it one?  Is it 600?  

“If it’s one that is absolutely good enough for me,” he continued.  “In all reality we know it’s not just one.”

Justice acknowledged that while the message may seem repetitive and everyone would like to shift focus to all the great advancements happening across West Virginia, the vaccine is “the only tool in the box” to continue fighting COVID.

“We don’t want to be here over and over and over, except for one thing — we are saving lives,” Justice said.  “And you can help us do that too [by getting the vaccine].” 

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