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Gov. Jim Justice not issuing vaccine mandate for state employees

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 7:43 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Ever since the COVID-19 vaccine became available in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice expressed the need for people to get the shot -- time and time again.

“The only way that we know on the planet that we can get out of this is to get vaccinated,” Justice said.

Justice has repeatedly expressed the need for people to get the shot.

“But until we really make up our mind to run to the fire to get vaccinated, there’s gonna be more [who] die, maybe lots more die,” Justice said.

Based on the governor’s strong stance on getting the shot, WSAZ asked about his plans for state employees.

“I don’t see a need for me to move that way at this time. From the standpoint of mandating something, I don’t think in the state of West Virginia we need to start mandating. We’ve got to continue to encourage,” Justice said.

However, by encouraging rather than mandating, by the governor’s own account, the needle is moving too slowly to keep up with the deadly virus.

“Two thousand eight hundred people got vaccinated since the last briefing. That’s not enough. That’s not even close to enough,” Justice said.

He said it has amounted to not enough shots in arms, and not enough to require more action at the state level.

“I think all that would do is get us pulling in different directions from one another, and it is not the thing to do right now,” Justice said.

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