Coronavirus Updates

West Virginia leaders excited about possible COVID-19 vaccine

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Governor Jim Justice and top health officials are excited about the possible vaccine and spoke about it at today’s press conference. The Centers for Disease Control , or CDC, advised the states last night to be ready for the possible distribution of vaccines by late October.

“We’ve got a vaccine on the way, possibly. What a day! What a day compared to the days we’ve had and everything. So, if that comes to pass, we’ll be ready,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

While nothing is final yet, one of the priorities might be to vaccinate health care professionals and first responders right away since they are on the front lines of fighting the pandemic. Other high-risk groups such as nursing home residents and workers might also be high-priority for the first vaccinations.

“We do have a vaccine team that’s been in motion for several months now, to deal with if we were given X-amount of vaccines, of how we would have to dispense that throughout the state,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, WV Public Health Officer.

With West Virginia being among the states with the worst internet service in the nation, the Governor also announced today the state would be competing for nearly 800 million dollars in broadband grants from the FCC, that could improve tele-health for things such as Covid-19 in the Mountain State. Better broadband would also mean more access for online education during the pandemic and beyond.

“Battling the Covid-19 pandemic has been costly for states, but the Governor says West Virginia actually has a budget surplus for the first two months of the fiscal year, July and August, totaling more than 80 million dollars,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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