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Vaccine booster shots urged in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is urging residents who got the Pfizer vaccine to get their booster shot, citing the rising number of hospitalizations involving vaccinated people.

There were 16,223 active COVID-19 cases reported statewide on Friday with 1,008 people being treated in a hospital, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. The number of fully vaccinated people who have been hospitalized has increase to 20 percent, Justice said.

“That tells us there’s a growing need, more and more and more, for people that are fully vaccinated to get their booster shot,” he said.

He said booster shots are available, for the most part, for people age 18 and over who had their second Pfizer shot at least six months ago. Booster shots are not yet available for other vaccines.

Justice also pleaded again for the unvaccinated to get the vaccine. He said 3,700 doses have been given since the last update, but that’s not enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia ranks last among the states in doses administered per 100,000 population.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.