CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The Mountain State confirmed more than 1,100 new positive cases since Friday. The number of active cases has shot past 16,000, and there are now 854 Delta variant cases. State health leaders and the governor are pleading with people to get their shots.
“There’s going to be more, and more, and more that die until we really, really aggressively get more of our people vaccinated,” said Gov. Jim Justice.
There is a new incentive. West Virginia Healthy “Grandfamilies” are grandparents collectively raising 19,000 children, mostly due to the opioid epidemic. They will receive a $150 school voucher for each eligible child they get vaccinated.
“We are about advocacy. We are about intervention. We are about being a point of contact about showing grandparents where they can access resources that they did not know they had,” said Bonnie Dunn, WV Healthy Grandfamilies.
Meanwhile, members of the Governor’s team will be talking with the U.S. Surgeon General Tuesday, trying to get third doses for all people over age 60 and others at high risk.
“We will continue to press the governor’s message, that we most have booster doses immediately, and we cannot wait,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer, (Ret.), WV Inter-Agency Task Force.
So far the federal government has not budged from its September 20th booster distribution date.
In arguing for booster shots, Governor Justice says of the COVID-19 patients who died in the past two months, 26 percent of them had underlying conditions, that contributed to their deaths.