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Gov. Jim Justice asking for clearance for fourth dose

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:34 PM EST
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MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Last week West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced he asked President Biden to direct the FDA and CDC to authorize West Virginia to begin offering a 4th dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.

What this means is if President Biden agrees it would allow West Virginians who are fifty and older, as well as essential workers, access to a fourth vaccine if they are at least three months out from their last booster.

The West Virginia DHHR website is reporting nearly 2,290 new cases since their last update. Governor Justice says the state is in danger of becoming the victim of omicron’s wrath, spiking our case load and straining our health care facilities.

“The reason for this is lots of different things. First of all it will save a bunch, bunch more lives. That’s all there is to it. But secondly right behind that we’re going to end up with a run on our hospitals like you can’t imagine. This omicron virus is absolutely potent from the stand point that it is a super spreader.” Justice said.

If the fourth dose is approved it could protect high risk populations in the state, boosting their antibodies since vaccines lose potency over time.

“We vaccinated our most vulnerable population first. Nursing homes, over 70, over 50. We know that lag time is the longest for them and we are very quickly approaching that four month window when we know the potency of those vaccines are wearing off. We can’t afford in West Virginia to have our most vulnerable get sick with COVID-19.” said West Virginia Coronavirus Czar, Dr. Clay Marsh.

Just over 49% of the 50 and older population in the state have received booster shots. Some Mercer County residents say they wouldn’t mind another dose because they have faith in public health care leaders, but understand some people don’t want it.

“As long as the medical professionals say that’s what we need, that’s what I’ll take. I’m a disabled American veteran. I have tremendous lung problems, so I’m not taking any chances.” said Stephen Orey of Bramwell.

“That’s a chance or decision they have to make on their own. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not because they say that the antibodies go down real quick. Even after the booster shot so after four months now they’re saying you need another one so I think they need to get it.” said Alvie Bailey of Princeton.

It’s unclear as of now when or even if the president will follow through on Governor Justice’s request. President Biden previously mentioned states need to take Coronavirus matters into their own hands and that seems exactly what Justice wants to do.

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