By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia officials say they are making a full-court press to convince federal authorities to increase deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to the state. That included a scheduled call Monday afternoon from Gov. Jim Justice to the White House COVID-19 czar, Jeffery Zients.
“I’m in contact with them nonstop,” Justice said at Monday’s COVID-19 briefing. “I’m screaming my head off in order to tout how well West Virginia is doing.”
Through Sunday, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources internet dashboard, West Virginia has administered 106.4% of all vaccine first doses received, a factor of being able to get an extra sixth dose out of many vials of vaccine.
Dr. Clay Marsh, vice president of health sciences at West Virginia University and the state’s COVID-19 czar, said Monday that while a statewide network has capacity to administer 125,000 vaccinations a week, the government is currently receiving an average of less than one-fifth of that amount weekly.
“Right now, there is a production issue, and we very much hope that the production issue gets resolved very quickly,” Marsh said, adding that he’s hopeful vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson will soon receive final FDA approval and join vaccines currently available from Pfizer and Moderna. …
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