State passes some important markers
As of Friday, a total of 205,252 West Virginians — more than 11% of the state’s population — have received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
That means that more than 1 in 10 of our residents are now at least somewhat resistant to COVID-19, as the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, according to a finding from the Food and Drug Administration, can provide more than 50 percent resistance to the virus, while the Moderna vaccine, after one dose, can provide more than 80 percent protection.
What makes West Virginia’s numbers even more compelling is that the state is vaccinating its oldest, most vulnerable residents first. While the state doesn’t have an age breakdown of those that have received at least one dose of the virus, given Gov. Jim Justice’s push to prioritize residents 65 and older in the vaccine rollout over the past month, it’s safe to say a growing percentage of our older, most vulnerable residents now have some protection to COVID.
That’s impressive, particularly when compared to our neighboring states where the COVID rollout has been slow and unorganized. West Virginia, under the leadership of Justice and Dr. Clay Marsh, has consistently made the right calls on testing, the vaccine rollout and also prioritizing shots for the most vulnerable segment of our population.
Another interesting number eclipsed recently is that more than 100,000 West Virginians have recovered from COVID-19. Given that those that have recovered have at least some resistance to COVID, that means that more than 300,000 West Virginians — about 17 percent of the state’s population — have protections to the virus either through having it and recovering or receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
COVID has impacted all of us over the past 11 months, and we can only hope that leaders in West Virginia continue to make the right calls with the vaccine. That will help keep our residents safe and also continue to lead toward herd immunity.