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With 5,457 new COVID-19 cases reported in West Virginia on Thursday, the state now reports 14,817 active cases — 1,210 more than Wednesday, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources’ coronavirus dashboard.

The state now reports 372,674 total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in spring 2020.

Deaths tied to COVID-19 in the state totaled 5,503 on Thursday, with 22 of those reported overnight.

As of Thursday, 861 West Virginians — 18 more than Wednesday — are hospitalized with the virus. Of those patients, 217 are in an intensive care unit and 135 are receiving care on a ventilator. Seventeen of those hospitalized are children, and three of those children are in an ICU, per the state dashboard.

Nearly 73% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. That increases to 85% for people in the ICU and 92% for those on ventilators.

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Being fully vaccinated and boosted is the best way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19.

To date, about 55% of the state’s eligible residents — 941,631 individuals — are fully vaccinated. Another 9% of those eligible — 151,448 people — are partially vaccinated.

Last week, a CDC advisory panel approved administering Pfizer booster doses in children ages 12 and up.

Under new guidance, booster doses can be given five months after someone receives their initial mRNA round of the vaccine, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson one-dose.

As of Thursday, 38% of fully vaccinated West Virginians — 359,969 residents — have received a booster dose, according to the dashboard.

Caity Coyne covers health. She can be reached at 304-348-7939 or Follow @CaityCoyne on Twitter.

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