COVID-19 vaccination distributed in W.Va.

Dr. Kishore Challa with Thomas Health was the first in the state of West Virginia to receive...
Dr. Kishore Challa with Thomas Health was the first in the state of West Virginia to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.(Thomas Health)
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 11:29 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Monday marked a page in the history books as roughly 10,000 COVID-19 vaccinations were distributed in parts of West Virginia.

“I cannot express how incredible of an achievement this has been,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “It’s unbelievable. We’re ready, in West Virginia, to show the rest of the country just how good we are and how great we are able to perform.”

The governor, along with his COVID-19 team, held a news conference Monday evening as they all were administered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

“I feel great, no effects whatsoever,” Justice after receiving the vaccine.

The team got the vaccine to show others they believe it’s safe.

West Virginia COVID-19 Czar Dr. Clay Marsh talked during the briefing about how safe he feels the vaccine is.

“People in West Virginia should feel safe,” Marsh said. “This is a very effective, very safe vaccine. It has undergone very thorough evaluation by a number of scientific panels, including the FDA and CDC.”

Dr. Marsh went on to say the vaccine cannot cause you to be infected with COVID-19, and 95 percent of people who take the vaccine are protected from getting the virus, which was trialed on about 70,000 people.

The vaccine was distributed to two of five HUB sites, which are sites that will be distribute the vaccine to other parts of the state. So far, Kanawha (Charleston) and Monongalia (Morgantown) counties received their allotments. On Tuesday, officials say they are expecting the remaining three HUB sites in Cabell, Berkley and Greenbrier counties to receive their first doses.

State officials said by Monday evening, the Kanawha County site had already distributed to 17 out of 19 medical facilities. Monongalia had already distributed to 10 out of 19.

“Those hubs are processing vaccines for additional distribution to other sites in their regions of the hub. At this time, things continue to move along smoothly,” said West Virginia National Guard Adjutant Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, who is leading the state’s vaccine distribution efforts. “I appreciate the work of all the agencies in the Joint Interagency Task Force and the outside organizations, such as the West Virginia Hospital Association and the West Virginia Health Care Association representing the long-term care and assisted living facilities. This is not just a whole-of-government approach, this is a whole-of-West Virginia approach.

The state requested a total of 16,575 vaccinations for its first round of vaccinations. They are expecting the remaining roughly 6,000 to come on Tuesday.

“If you are receiving doses from this first shipment, you will be contacted by your employer on where and when to schedule your appointments,” Justice said. “By working with our partners, we will take care of those in our nursing homes and long-term care facilities. We have incredible partners from various organizations working with us across the state to make this happen.”

The distribution plan is divided up into phases, but Hoyer said the phases could not be sequential.

Click here to see the phases of the distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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