In a partnership with Walgreens, state officials said Monday that West Virginia will be using the pharmacy chain to administer vaccines to about 6,000 residents per week.
West Virginia opted into the second phase of the federal pharmacy program to make this happen, said James Hoyer, state interagency task force director. The state notably skipped the first phase of this program, electing to roll out the vaccine statewide at a faster pace, leading to West Virginia’s nation-leading initial distribution.
These projected 5,800 vaccines per week will be administered in Walgreens locations across West Virginia, Hoyer said. The pharmacies will receive priority lists from the state and will contact the selected residents.
The state eventually will take over the responsibility for contacting West Virginians for Walgreens vaccines, Hoyer said, but he did not give an expected time period.
These vaccines will be reserved for critical health care workers and West Virginians age 65 years and older, Gov. Jim Justice said during a COVID-19 briefing Monday.
The number of vaccines in this program — 5,800 — is what will be allotted to the state initially, but the number could go up in the future, Hoyer said. These vaccines also will not subtract from the vaccines West Virginia will receive regularly from Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout program.
Hoyer said Warp Speed will send 28,800 vaccines to West Virginia this week, more than the previous week’s total of 23,600.
Justice, echoing remarks he made Friday, said West Virginia continues to beg officials with Warp Speed and the federal government for more vaccines, as the state has administered more than 106% of the first doses it has been given.
The governor said Friday that the Biden administration pledged to get West Virginia close to 30,000 vaccines this week — which officials delivered — however, Justice said the Mountain State is capable of administering close to 125,000 vaccines per week.
West Virginia had administered second vaccine doses to 105,889 residents — 5.8% of the total population — as of Monday morning.
West Virginians age 16 and older can pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling 1-833-734-0965. While only some members of the population are now eligible to receive the vaccine, resident may pre-register at any time.