West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is urging West Virginians, especially older residents, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before the holiday season and to get the booster shot if the person is due for one.
“We have a small percent of people 50 and older who are fully vaccinated but have not taken their booster shots,” Justice said in a statement. “That is just plain not smart. Run to the fire and get your booster shots. We have to do better.”
The governor’s office said it is important to be fully vaccinated and get a booster shot before entering crowded shopping areas or attending events with one’s family.
More than 81% of West Virginians aged 50 or older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and more than 71% are vaccinated. However, only slightly more than a quarter of people in that age group have gotten a booster shot. More than 89% of those aged 65 or older have received at least one dose and nearly 79% are fully vaccinated. Slightly more than one-third of people in this age group have gotten a booster shot.
Younger people are less likely to get the vaccine and the booster shot, according to Department of Health and Human Resource’s numbers. Slightly more than 69% of the adult population has received at least one dose of a vaccine, 58.6% are fully vaccinated and just 16.2% have received a booster shot. Death or serious illness from COVID-19 is rare for younger people, but the risk increases if the person has a compromised immune system or another health condition. The risks also increase as a person gets older.
The FDA and CDC are recommending booster shots for all people aged 18 and older. A person is eligible to receive the shot six months after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna and two months after a Johnson & Johnson dose.
A person who has lost his or her vaccination card can receive another one from the Department of Health and Human Resources.
This article was originally posted on Justice encourages booster shots, vaccines before Christmas