Randy Yohe Published

Second COVID-19 Booster Vital for W.Va. Seniors

The FDA has authorized second booster shots for people over 50 and for some people who are immunocompromised.

State health leaders say without a second booster, senior citizens face a critical COVID infection risk.

In his Monday COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Jim justice said if vaccinated people have gone past the time to get a second booster, they basically have no immunity at all.

Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh agreed, saying the current omicron variant is better able to avoid all immune responses, and a second booster is critical for seniors.

“We’re working with the Long Term Care Association to make sure that we are continuing to define anybody who does need a vaccine to offer that to them,” Marsh said. “This is extremely important because the older part of our population is taking the brunt.”

West Virginia Joint Interagency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer said his team is renewing education efforts for nursing home residents to get their second booster and family members not granting consent to give the shot.

“We’re providing materials to go to family members who have the legal power to make decisions for other residents who are in facilities,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer said the booster education efforts would not just be in those facilities, but across the state population over the age of 50.

On Monday, the DHHR reported 80 new COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. As of Monday, West Virginia is just 23 away from 7,000 COVID-19 related deaths.