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Gov. Justice reveals more about W.Va. vaccine plan

CHARLESTON — The distribution plan in West Virginia for the vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus was further defined by the governor on Friday.

Allocation will be in two phases, Gov. Jim Justice said. Phase 1 in the initial shipments of the vaccine is further divided into A, B, C and D, he said.

Phase 1A will include hospital acute care tertiary and Q/ICU/ED/COVID units and airway specialists (ENT, G1, heart/lung), nursing home and assisted living staff and residents and pharmacies.

Phase 1B includes community infrastructure, emergency response, public health officials and first responders such as police and firefighters, 911 centers, emergency management, corrections officers, ambulance crews, local health departments, dental facilities and National Guard on COVID-19 support.

Phase 1C includes other health care workers and remaining hospital staff, clinics and higher-risk settings, home health and hospice, CPS, APS, optometrists, allergy and immunology, audiology, chiropractic, counseling, dermatology, primary care, infusion centers, labs, therapy, medication assistant, ophthalmology, pediatrics, PT and OT, among others.

Phase 1D is teachers and education including higher education faculty and staff, kindergarten through 12th grade faculty and staff, and other sectors for critical services to the state, continuity of government, associations, utilities and transportation.

“We are planning to offer vaccines to all individuals identified in 1A through 1D within the first six weeks based on the allocation of vaccines,” Justice said. “As our allocation increases and distribution occurs we will be able to move through the phases more quickly.”

In Phase 2 for the general population, initial emphasis will be placed on the most vulnerable in the general population based on the guidance from the CDC, Justice said.

Distribution depends on when the Food and Drug Administration approves an emergency use request for two vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and from Moderna.

An advisory panel to the FDA recommended approval of the Pfizer vaccine. The panel will review the Moderna vaccine next week.

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