CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Kanawha County is now red on both the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 maps and the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department continues to offer free COVID vaccinations and testing clinics.
As of Saturday morning, the state of West Virginia is up to 197,984 total number of COVID cases and 6,303 of these cases are breakthrough cases.
“We’re seeing an incline of 20, 30, 40% and staying there on that trajectory, which is straight up as far as looking at a curve,” said Dr. Sherri Young, Health Officer of Kanawha Charleston Health Department.
Health professionals continue to encourage residents to get vaccinated as this second surge in COVID is increasing at a rapid rate.
Dr. Young says, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department is administering doses for first or second vaccinations and third doses for immunocompromised individuals.
“We have some mixed in there that are getting their first shots which is really reassuring to us. If nothing has worked as far as messaging so far, the one thing that we can all get on the same page about is that we want this pandemic to be over,” said Young.
Elizabeth Arthur, a recipient of the first dose of the COVID vaccine, tells us why she waited until now to get her vaccination.
“I think with the FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine, that kind of gave me a little bit more comfort in going that route than other options that I had,” said Elizabeth Arthur, a first dose COVID vaccine recipient.
Like Elizabeth and others, some people want to wait and see other people’s reactions to the vaccination since it is still relatively new.
“My biggest hesitation, in the beginning, was just the unknown. Not knowing whether or not the vaccine was going to work, how it was going to affect people. I’m not really interested in being the guinea pig,” said Arthur.
Dr. Young says for those who are still facing vaccine hesitancy, studies show that vaccinations help protect against COVID and the likelihood of hospitalization, as well as continued mask-wearing.
“Both of my parents have had the Pfizer vaccine and they did just fine with it, so no better time than now,” said Arthur.
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department will continue free COVID testing and vaccinations throughout the month of September.