W.Va. public health leaders prepare for roll-out of updated booster shot
BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - State health leaders predict a leveling off of COVID-19 cases in W.Va. over the next couple of weeks.
According to Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh, the state was expected to peak with around 500 hospitalized cases by Labor Day. Now, he estimates that number to be below 400. “We expect the number of cases to level off in the next couple of weeks. Then, we expect to start seeing a reduced number.”
The latest estimates come just as that state awaits the green light on the distribution of an updated booster shot tailored specifically to Omnicron. However, as Ret. Maj. Gen. James Hoyer explained at the Governor’s press briefing, the latest shot will not initially be available to everyone.
“We’re going to be focused on long-term care, assisted living, and West Virginians over the age of 65. We’ll also be engaged in working on getting those updated boosters to health care workers and first responders and those on the front lines.”
Bureau for Public Health Dir. Dr. Ayne Amjad said there are steps those who are not eligible can take to keep the virus at bay.
“We would encourage everyone eligible for the fourth dose of the booster to go ahead and get them, because the Omnicron boosters that are going to be approved are going to be prioritized for long-term care and those older than 65. So if you’re older than 50 and can still get your fourth dose, we encourage you to go ahead and get that.”
Gov. Jim Justice said that some states are starting to see their number of cases plateau over the long-term. If West Virginians continue to focus on testing, vaccination, and treatment, he said West Virginia could be next.
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