June Leffler Published

Gov. Justice: All Essential Workers, Those With Chronic Diseases, Eligible for Vaccine


All essential workers and those with certain health conditions are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Jim Justice announced an expansion in vaccine eligibility today at a virtual press briefing. That includes grocery store workers, bank clerks, child care providers, truck drivers and many others who keep cities and towns running smoothly.

This announcement comes less than two weeks after the state opened eligibility for all essential workers 50 years and older and those with Down Syndrome, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia and an organ transplant or current pregnancy. Now, those with lung, heart, kidney, and liver diseases are also eligible. The same goes for those with asthma, certain diabetes, and immunosuppression. Anyone considered medically obese can also get their shot.

As more West Virginians can expect to get the call for their first doses, the state still wants to prioritize those 65 and older. More than half of that age group has gotten a shot, state officials reported.

Local health departments and other organizations continue to host clinics targeting vulnerable or underserved populations. That includes clinics directed at Black West Virginians, grandparents, veterans, coal miners and those in the Eastern Panhandle.