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As CDC weighs whether to ease booster guidelines, Justice says ‘get that booster shot’

Gov. Jim Justice and his advisers are recommending any West Virginian over age 18 seek out a covid-19 booster shot if they’re six months out from their original doses.

“You need to get that booster shot,” the governor said today.

That’s not specifically in line with federal recommendations, as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention considers whether to open up boosters more broadly everyone over age 18. Right now, the federal recommendations are based on a combination of age and health vulnerabilities.

“I absolutely believe if you’re 18 years of age, you can get your booster shot,” Justice said at a statewide briefing today.

Dr. Ayne Amjad

Dr. Ayne Amjad, the state health officer, said West Virginia’s high comorbidity rate is a reason not to quibble about specific requirements for boosters.

“Most of our population would qualify, so I would agree that everyone who needs to get their booster shot needs to go out there and get it,” Amjad said. “Everyone in our population who got their first and second dose needs to go out and get their booster shot right now.”

States like Colorado, California and New Mexico have decided on their own to allow booster shots for all adults.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Sunday was critical of “confusing messaging” by federal officials.

“Anyone who’s eligible for a booster, and most Americans probably are eligible for a booster at this point, should be going out and seeking it,” Gottlieb said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

James Hoyer

James Hoyer, the chief of West Virginia’s interagency task force, warned that the covid-19 transmission rate continues to rise. Hoyer described the rate as .95 coming out of the weekend and on pace to exceed 1 — meaning a rapid rate of spread — by Thanksgiving.

“We know when that goes above 1, we start to see more hospitalizations, more ICU and ventilators, followed by a surge and, unfortunately, loss of great West Virginians,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer, too, recommended booster doses.

“We know we’ve got to get that booster dose,” he said.


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