CABIN CREEK, WV (WOWK) – Coal miners in West Virginia roll up their sleeves to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Coal miners at the Blackhawk mine in Cabin Creek had the opportunity to get vaccinated today. Ashley Portz, a physician’s assistant for Cabin Creek Health Systems says, “Most of these guys are working six, seven days a week, so having the opportunity to just have them stop on their way in or their way out to get vaccinated is huge for them.”

Miners say if the clinic didn’t come to them, they probably wouldn’t get vaccinated. Corey Tucker, a coal miner at the site says, “If it wasn’t here I wouldn’t have time to do it.”

Another coal miner, Joe Lane says “Coal miners, we don’t have as much time as most other people. We work long hours and usually about the time we get off work we’re usually like ‘oh my gosh I’m too tired I don’t feel like stopping by a clinic.”

Coal miners are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, especially since many already suffer from respiratory issues.

“A lot of the guys are exposed to lung issues, a lot of them already have lung issues,” added Lane.

“You know they’re also working in close spaces, underground, so talk about spread of the disease in close spaces.” added Portz.

Which is why Cabin Creek Health Systems wanted to come to them.

“Today kind of proves that we’re willing to go where needed to vaccinate the people,” said Portz.

While also proving that everyone should get vaccinated, if they have the opportunity. “It’s worth it – I mean, it doesn’t hurt to get the vaccine.” said, Tucker.

“I hope that this shows other miners, other family members other people of West Virginia that we’re doing things that are safe to try and protect them and their family members as well.”

Ashley Portz, Physicians Assistant, Cabin Creek Health Systems