Gov. Justice expands COVID-19 vaccine clinics, creates online registration system
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that by Feb. 1, an expanded community vaccination clinic model will be available to all 55 counties.
He held a news conference on Thursday.
This is to make sure the limited supplies of vaccines make it to each part of the state, according to the governor.
He also announced more than 15 community vaccination clinics will be held.
The governor says they will hold special clinics just to vaccinate health care workers against the coronavirus. Justice says the goal is to offer 12,000 people who have been working on the front lines of the pandemic to get the vaccine. These clinics will be held in Berkeley, Braxton, Cabell, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Kanawha, Logan, Mercer, Raleigh and Wood counties. They will be held Friday and/or Saturday.
Exactly where those clinics will be held has not been announced.
The governor’s press secretary says frontline workers will be getting specific instructions on how they’ll be able to be vaccinated from their licensing boards and associations.
Justice says the state received COVID-19 vaccine doses on Monday.
The governor asks you to be patient when you call to get your vaccine.
Justice says the state will be launching an online statewide vaccine scheduling and distribution communications tool at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25. They have partnered with a company called Everbridge. It helps states notify their citizens when there is a fire, flood or hurricane, but now they will help coordinate vaccines.
West Virginia will be the first state to turn on this new vaccine scheduling system, the governor says.
Justice said, “This will keep people from having to call time and time and time again. I’m trying every way in the world. Every way I possibly can to make things easier and better for you and I hear you. And I don’t like the fact that you are having to call and call and call. And the great people at DHHR and all the other people have come up with this and it’s really good stuff.”
You will just have to go to the website or call the hotline to get your information into the system. When vaccines are available, they will be able to inform you. You’ll get a message back to confirm you’re in the system and update you regularly. The system can send texts, phone calls and emails.
At this time, they are prioritizing those 65 years of age and older. However, DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch says teachers 50 years of age and older can also register into the system, as well. The fastest way to register will be online.
Secretary Crouch says if you’ve called local health departments already and gotten registered on their list, do not call the new system and register again. You will keep your priority.
He says, “DHHR is prepared to make sure this system is paid for and put in place and functions well. This is a large undertaking and again we have done it in one week. There will be blips. We ask everyone to please be patient, but we need this for our citizens so they don’t have to continuously call and call multiple times and we have to fix this problem. Again, the governor directed us to fix it and we are fixing it.”
Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia’s COVID-19 czar, says Jan. 21 is the one-year mark of the first case of the coronavirus appearing in the United States.
Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.
Copyright 2021 WSAZ. All rights reserved.