West Virginia gets first vaccines; Dr. Birx speaks exclusively to us

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The vaccines were delivered to National Guard facilities at undisclosed locations in Monongalia and Kanawha Counties, two of the hardest-hit regions in the state.

Health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, and first responders will be among the first vaccinated. The delivery coincided with a West Virginia visit by White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Doctor Deborah Birx. Doctor Birx spoke exclusively to Nexstar Media, which owns this station. The state’s recent spike in cases drew her attention.

“Well, that’s why we wanted to come because obviously, you can see West Virginia right now, rising test positivity, rising cases, rising hospitalizations, rising fatalities. Now is the moment every West Virginian really needs to take care,” Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator told WOWK 13 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis.

Priority will be given to those over 50.

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx

“From the deaths in West Virginia, the people that have died that are less than 50 years of age, are 3%,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

West Virginia had more than 1,100 new cases since Sunday. 10 more people died overnight bringing the death total to 978. More than 21,000 active COVID-19 cases are being treated. Dr. Birx says this is not the time to let your guard down.

“Really ensuring that any time you are indoors, that you have a mask on, when you are with people who are outside of your household. And I know that’s hard coming into the holiday season,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.

Over the weekend more than 22,000 people in West Virginia were tested for COVID-19.

“When might everyone be vaccinated? Governor Justice is hoping everyone in the Mountain State who wants the vaccine will have it by mid-March. Nationally, Dr. Birx says it might be by June or July before vaccinations are complete,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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