West Virginia has created an information hub for residents with questions about COVID-19 vaccines, Gov. Jim Justice said Monday.
The hub can be reached by phone at 1-833-734-0965 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Information also can be found online, at vaccinate.wv.gov.
West Virginia’s vaccination plan worked to get front-line health care workers and nursing home residents and staff vaccinated first. The state is now turning to vaccinate West Virginians 80 years of age and older, as well as public school service personnel and teachers.
Justice said a schedule for school-related vaccinations would be released Tuesday.
For West Virginians 80 years old and older, vaccines will continue to be available at county health departments, according to the state’s vaccine information page. Health departments will individually announce availability and locations for vaccinations.
People who are 80 years old and older who are patients at community health centers will be contacted by their own center regarding access to a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the page. There will be private vendors offering the vaccine to this population in the future, with information on those supplies to be released at a later date.
Justice said Monday that 8,300 residents who are 80 years old and older had received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine so far. He also said that, until the state can stockpile enough vaccines, health departments will have to continue with appointment-only vaccinations.
“I think we’re trying to go to an appointment situation until we really are absolutely comfortable that we’ve got enough vaccines,” Justice said.
Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s coronavirus czar, said West Virginians who participated in the first rounds of vaccinations are coming back this week for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
For West Virginians 79 years old and younger, Justice will announce in the future when vaccines will be available, according to the information page. The state has projected March and April for when vaccinations will begin for the general population.
West Virginia National Guard Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, who is now the former adjutant general but still is leading the state’s vaccine distribution, said Monday that the rollout has been a “balancing act.” He said what appears to be uneven distribution is a result of challenges with the supply chain.