BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia lead the country in vaccine rollouts throughout the pandemic. Now state officials look to do so again.
Throughout the pandemic, West Virginia put itself in the forefront, setting a precedent for the country in vaccine rollouts. While vaccination rates in the state continue to fall short of the goals set by the state health department.
During his press conference on January 6. Governor Jim Justice announced additional pushes to meet those goals, offering initial booster shots to anyone twelve and older. The Governor also took a step no other state in the country has, looking to follow the footsteps of Israel and put the mountain state on the forefront once again.
“We are going to try and move forward, hand and hand with what Israel is doing, Israel is offering the fourth dose and they are doing that right now,” said Gov. Justice.
According to Gov. Justice, West Virginia is the first to request a second round of COVID-19 booster shots.
If approved, people who are fifty and older, immunocompromised, and essential workers are eligible for the fourth dose, four months after receiving the third.
Governor Justice says the increased transmissibility of the omicron variant is a driving factor behind this decision, as he wants to try and prevent any further deaths and keep hospitals from being overrun.
When we asked people whether they would get the fourth dose or not, what we found was many people believed everyone has a right to get the vaccine if they want, regardless of if they support it or not.
“I ain’t got the first one, so I don’t plan on getting one. My thoughts, I don’t know I guess it’s freedom of choice if someone wants to get it so go for it,” said Tanner Poletti.
“I just feel like everyone is entitled to do what they choose and I think that the boosters are a good thing and if that is what works for them they should do it,” said Suzy Keaton.
Many of those same people also expressed a sense of pride, saying this should show the rest of the country what the mountain state is capable of.