More West Virginians being vaccinated every week

Eddie Trizzino, Times West Virginian, Fairmont
·2 min read

Feb. 15—FAIRMONT — Reports have emerged about different variants of the coronavirus forming and infecting people in different states in the U.S.

But Lloyd White, administrator of the Marion County Health Department, said the defensive measures that protect against the COVID-19 virus, such as mask-wearing and social distancing, would still be effective against other strains of coronavirus.

"Those new strains are more transmittable and more severe than the current ones we are dealing with," White said. "However, we always have to remind ourselves that the same things that prevent COVID-19, if we do those and do those as well as we can, we still should be able to prevent the other strains that we are seeing now."

White said approximately 1,500 people in Marion County have now received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the health department is still working to vaccinate residents over the age of 80. The health department hosts clinics every Friday where it calls in residents who have registered to receive the vaccine, and they are brought in based on their age and priority.

"We're working them as quickly as we can get them," White said. "Our goal is to get shots in arms the same day we get the vaccines."

West Virginia are encouraged to pre-register to take the vaccine by going online at vaccinate.wv.gov, which is building a waiting list from its database of pre-registrants.

"The demographic the state mandates that we stay in right now is 65-plus," White said. "We have been told that if and when they give us permission to upload our list, that our folks will be given priority. In the meantime, for the clinics we have scheduled, we continue to work on our list."

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, 248,992 West Virginians have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 140,257 have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday evening. Also according to the DHHR, Marion County has been designated green on the county alert system map as of Saturday evening, with 2.96 percent positivity of COVID cases.

Email Eddie Trizzino at etrizzino@timeswv.com and follow him on Twitter at @eddietimeswv.