6:00: Morning News

Marsh: Rise in variants ‘call to arms’ in getting vaccinated

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh is among the West Virginia officials urging people to get vaccinated for the coronavirus amid concerns about a gap in demand and variant strains.

Marsh said during Friday’s coronavirus briefing it is important for people to get vaccinated as vaccines are effective tools in preventing people from getting the virus.

“As we look at the impact of these vaccines in real-world situations, we know these vaccines are incredibly effective and incredibly safe,” he said.

Dr. Clay Marsh (File)

Gov. Jim Justice and others spoke Friday about the importance of receiving vaccination doses, with state Interagency Task Force Director James Hoyer noting the supply of vaccines in West Virginia is outpacing the public demand. West Virginia also lags behind the national average regarding doses used.

Marsh also warned of a rise in variants; state officials have identified the first case of the Brazilian variant in Berkeley County. Marsh also noted Friday two cases of the South African strain, 365 cases of the United Kingdom variant and 174 cases of the California variant.

“That is not to scare West Virginians, but it is a call to arms,” he added.

“We know that our strongest age group of spread is our 10-to-19, young West Virginians. We really want to call on families, on parents, on young people to get vaccinated. Please choose to get vaccinated. It will allow you to safely play sports and have your activities. If someone on your sports team gets infected, then people who are fully vaccinated don’t have to quarantine.”

The Greenbrier East High School girls’ basketball team, which the governor coaches, has paused activities after one positive case. Justice said Friday none of the players are vaccinated.

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