MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia is leading the nation in the rate of distribution of COVID-19 vaccine and that rate could improve following an announcement from WVU Medicine about plans for mass vaccination clinics.
“Starting around January 25 we’re going to try to put clinics in open spaces,” WVU Medicine President and CEO Albert Wright said Monday on MetroNews “Talkline”
Wright said the clinics would be in convention centers, arenas and gyms.
“So we can start to mass vaccinate the population,” he said. “WVU alone, we’ll be able to do, as of the 25th, we anticipate we can do up to 7,500 vaccines a day.”
According to Wright, hospitals have the qualified professionals to deliver the vaccine and the incentive to aggressively push it out to the public.
“We’ve got the folks that know how to give vaccines- we’ve got pharmacists, we’ve got nurses and we can do it in a scaled up way,” Wright said. “We’re very incentivized to get the population vaccinated to get back to normal so we can be doing our elective procedures and get our staff back.”
Albert Wright, @WVUMedicine President and CEO, speaks with @HoppyKercheval about the latest increase in COVID-19 cases across West Virginia, and vaccine distribution across the WVU medicine facilities. WATCH: https://t.co/wkudfIRZCB pic.twitter.com/iGxquTJ1if
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) January 11, 2021
Wright said WVU Medicine has approximately 300 COVID-19 patients across its system and elective procedures have been reduced by 50%.
Hospitals are in a position to operate larger vaccination clinics than county health departments, Wright said.
“I believe the hospitals are in a great position to have these large clinics up and running,” Wright said. “We can follow the state criteria- over 80, over 70, over 60, teachers, veterans- you name it.”
A schedule for the clinics including times and locations is expected to be released in a few days.