Thorn: “The only way to get through this is to get the shot”

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TAYLOR COUNTY—With the Coronavirus making its way through the community, local health officials are encouraging residents to undergo vaccination, and for those who have been vaccinated, boosters are essential in the fight against COVID-19.

Grafton-Taylor County Health Department Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn revealed that on Friday morning, the county was reporting 150 active cases of the virus, and of those five residents had to undergo hospitalization.

During the Friday morning COVID update call, Taylor County Health Officer Dr. David Bender revealed that the county is currently experiencing two outbreaks, one at Taylor Health Care Center and one at the Pruntytown Correctional Center.

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources County Alert Map, Taylor County is solidly in a red designation, with an infection rate of 68.46 and a percent positivity of just over nine percent.

As of Friday, eight counties throughout the state were safely in the green, five were deemed yellow, five were gold and the remainder were either in an orange or red designation.

And with many counties reporting higher numbers, Governor Jim Justice, in agreement with state health officials, encouraged residents to undergo vaccination and booster shots, during his Friday press briefing.

“You have got to get that booster shot,” Gov. Justice said. “Our medical experts would look right at you and say if you’re six months out from your initial vaccines, and you have not gotten your booster shot, you may be no better off than those who never got vaccinated.”

He reported that while 1,072,338 West Virginians had rolled up their sleeves for their first shot, only a small portion were returning for their booster immunizations.

“We only have 48,893 that have received their booster shot,” Justice revealed. “We’re sitting at less than five percent of vaccinated people that have gotten their booster shot. We’re making progress, but it’s just too slow.”

West Virginia Joint Interagency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer echoed the Governor’s sentiment.

“Based on the information put out by the CDC and FDA, most all West Virginians age 18 and above are now eligible for a booster and we encourage everyone to get a booster,” Hoyer said. “Based on the data that we have; we have an additional increase of vaccinated patients in the hospital, and we know that we must get that turned around.”

Locally, health officials are encouraging residents who are able to, to undergo vaccination to help protect not only themselves but their loved ones from the potentially deadly virus.

“The only way that we are going to see an end to all of this, is to get the shot,” said Thorn. “Encourage anyone you know to get the booster if they qualify.”

The Grafton-Taylor County Health Department is currently offering COVID vaccinations for all age groups without appointment. 

He said that the department would be also be offering booster vaccinations daily at their location on West Main Street, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., with the last shot being offered at 3:45 p.m., as well as on Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. with shot given at 7:45 p.m., to allow for the 15-minute observation period.

Those wishing to undergo inoculations simply need to visit their West Main Street location and fill out the appropriate forms. 

Individuals should bring with them their insurance cards and those who have already received at least one dose are asked to bring along their COVID-19 vaccination record card.


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