By Holli Nelson
| Jan. 13, 2021
Members of the West Virginia National Guard conduct and participate in a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Joint Forces Headquarters, Charleston, West Virginia, Jan. 13, 2021. West Virginia maintains one of the highest percentages of vaccine allocation use in the United States and is rapidly expanding capacity to inoculate the population. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Edwin L Wriston) (Photo by Edwin L. Wriston)
The West Virginia National Guard and the Joint Interagency Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccines (JIATF) have assisted the State of West Virginia with the receipt and shipment of the state’s allocation of COVID-19 vaccines this week and last, leading to more than 117,130 West Virginians getting vaccinated to date.
Since the start of the vaccination process in West Virginia, interagency partners including local health departments, community health centers, hospitals, pharmacies, and many others, have assisted in the administration of 100,696 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine while completing the two-dose vaccination process for 16,434 West Virginians.
Additionally, the state is ranked as one of the top states in the nation for total vaccines administered per 100,000 residents and seventh overall for percent of population tested.
Today, the WVNG surpassed day 306 of supporting the state’s COVID-19 response and marked the 30th day since West Virginia received its first doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine. Currently, 549 members of the WVNG are on duty and have completed 3,727 missions to date.
This past week, the WVNG received two new pieces of equipment to increase our in-state Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturing, which will enable creation of both medial hair bonnets and foot coverings/booties. The WVNG also continues to utilize their in place equipment purchased this year to create PPE including two gown machines capable of creating two gowns per minute, a 3-ply face mask machine capable of creating 6,000 masks per shift and a 3-D printer creating up to 2,200 face shields per shift. This additional capability to source PPE internally will help ease strain in the supply chain for West Virginia.
Also this week, Guard members helped distribute 149,780 ancillary kits that accompany vaccine doses have been a force multiplier for ensuring vaccines are delivered efficiently and effectively to all end-use sites. The Task Force has also been proactive in the ordering and assembly of additional kits to shorten the time of vaccine distribution as the vaccine and kits ship separately from each other. Along with vaccinations, the WVNG assisted in the testing of 94,545 residents this past week.
The WVNG remains engaged on all lines of effort at the direction of Governor Jim Justice and mission successes include, but are not limited to the following for COVID-19 response:
B-roll footage of current and ongoing WVNG missions is available at: www.dvidshub.net/unit/wv-ang