West Virginia Eastern Panhandle facing large amounts of vaccine hesitancy

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EASTERN PANHANDLE, W.Va. (WDVM) — West Virginia’s weekly vaccine administration rate has been dropping steadily over the past few weeks.

Courtesy: West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources

Governor Jim Justice’s coronavirus team said this is likely due to a vaccine hesitancy roadblock. It has been estimated about 40% of West Virginia residents do not want to take the shot. While Justice has disputed this exact figure — as that would total to about 588,000 people rejecting the vaccines across the state — he and his team admitted that many appointment times are going unfilled, especially in the eastern panhandle.

“We did not have people schedule and show up for vaccines. We got to the point where local level basically asked us to turn off doses,” said Retired Major General Jim Hoyer, director of WV Joint InterAgency Task Force.

This trend of vaccine hesitancy inspired Justice’s new goal, titled “Beat 588-BAD,” which represents the estimated number of people who may be avoiding getting vaccinated.

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