CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says beginning today, West Virginians in the general public who are 70-years-old or older will be able to begin receiving vaccines for COVID-19 as Operation Save Our Wisdom continues.

Dr. Clay Marsh, WV COVID-19 Czar says getting the vaccine to those who are most vulnerable is a high priority, especially as faster-spreading variants begin to appear in other states. He says those over 70-years-old account for 77.5% of the deaths related to the virus in the Mountain State.

“If you are due to get your first vaccine, please choose to get vaccinated. It’s going to take a while for us to get the level of immunity we need to get in West Virginia as people are getting vaccinated, but I am so proud of the fact that we are pushing vaccines out faster than any other state,” Marsh said. “Every vaccine means we are potentially saving a life.”

Justice also says he hopes the state can begin administering to those in the 65 and over age range sometime next week once the state receives more doses of the vaccine. West Virginia has administered 100,696 initial doses of the vaccine and 16,434 second doses as of Wednesday, Jan. 13.

The governor initially opened the opportunity for those 80 and older to receive the vaccine Dec. 30, 2020.