Curtis Tate Published

Jill Biden Encourages West Virginians To Get Vaccinated In Charleston Visit


First lady Jill Biden visited Charleston Thursday to promote the coronavirus vaccine.

Biden spent about an hour at Capital High School in Charleston and spoke to teachers and students. As her plane touched down at Yeager Airport, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration expanded its emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. Students in that age range received their shots in the school’s gymnasium during Biden’s visit.

Biden was accompanied by actress Jennifer Garner, who grew up in Charleston. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and his wife, Gayle, the newly confirmed federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, also attended.

All four of them removed their masks.

“The most important thing we can do is get this virus behind us,” said Garner, who attended crosstown rival George Washington High School. “And in order to do that, we have to get anyone with vaccine hesitancy into these chairs.”

Biden tried to address the hesitancy problem.

“Now, there’s a fair amount of misinformation out there, and some of my friends have asked me, ‘Is the vaccination safe?’” she said to a small audience of state and local officials. “And you all know, the answer is yes. I got my shot, and I promise it didn’t even hurt, and I hate needles.”

Biden also met separately with West Virginia first lady Cathy Justice.

Gov. Jim Justice has attempted to woo more West Virginians to get vaccinated by offering a $100 savings bond to anyone up to age 35 who receives or has received a shot. Earlier in the year, the state led the nation in vaccines, but demand has dropped.