West Virginia Officials Urge Young People To Get Vaccinated

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are making a slow and steady comeback in West Virginia, largely due to increased spread among older teenagers and young adults and variants of the coronavirus.

“This is just the beginning of a shot across your bow if you happen to be a younger person,” Justice said Monday during his COVID-19 briefing. “You really need to know that you need to be vaccinated. If in fact this variant is attacking the younger folks as COVID-19 did to our older folks, then you’ve got to get vaccinated.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Resources, 19.7 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with nearly one-third of all residents partially vaccinated with either the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

Of those numbers, there are 658 West Virginians age 65 and older partially vaccinated per 1,000 people, with 241,236 people vaccinated in that age range. But only 28,876 West Virginians between the ages of 16 and 24 have received their first doses, or 56 per 1,000 people. Only 41,446 West Virginians between the ages of 25 and 34 are partially vaccinated, or 194 per 1,000.

As of Monday, teens and young adults between the ages of 10 and 19 made up the majority of new cases, followed by young adults between the ages of 20 and 29. According to the DHHR Monday report on its COVID-19 dashboard, there are 6,955 active COVID-19 cases in the state as of Sunday. That’s an 11-percent increase in active cases since 6,263 active cases last Monday and a 34-percent increase since dropping to 5,176 active cases on March 15.

The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department reported 15 new positive COVID cases in its Monday night update, putting the county’s totals at 4,093 cases and 79 related deaths. The Marshall County Health Department reported seven new confirmed positive and three new probable cases in its Monday night update, putting that county’s totals at 2,370 positive cases, 827 probable cases and 73 related deaths.

Hancock, Brooke and Marshall counties all were green Tuesday, the safest category on the DHHR COVID alert map, while Ohio County was yellow, the second-safest category.


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