CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — There continues to be frustration in West Virginia, over the rates of COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots, so one industry is stepping up. The governor and state leaders say vaccination numbers are improving, but it’s still not good enough.

It was another busy day at West Virginia Health Right in Charleston, where a drive-thru testing and vaccination clinic was taking place.

Tuesday was the first anniversary of vaccines being available in the U.S. and to mark that occasion, 30 health-related businesses across West Virginia have signed an open letter, encouraging those who remain unvaccinated, or “un-boostered,” to get out and get their shots.

“Well we’re trying to prevent the spread of this, and you know we’ve made a good effort in doing that. We’ve put a dent in it but we still have a lot of work to do. When you look at the newspaper and look at all the data, the numbers are going up. We just need to get more shots in arms,” said Isaiah Merritt, R.N., of West Virginia Health Right.

As of today, 64% of West Virginians age five and older, have received their first dose of vaccine.
53% of those eligible have received the second dose. And 33% of eligible adults have also received the booster shot. By their public plea, health care leaders are hoping to improve those vaccination totals.

The nurse we interviewed who did the testing today shared a very personal story.

One of Isaiah Merritt’s closest friends is in the ICU with COVID-19 and another friend’s mom recently died from COVID. Today, Isaiah asked for prayers for them and all others with the disease, and he urged people to get their shots.