West Virginia’s vaccination rate adjusted after counting error by CDC contractor

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - COVID-19 vaccination rates in West Virginia are much lower than originally thought. Since May, some of those vaccinations were double counted by a CDC contractor.

Gov. Jim Justice says he can’t guide a ship with bad information.

“The real issue is, we’re sitting back thinking we’re at 74% and we’re not,” said Justice on Wednesday. The governor was referring to the percentage of eligible West Virginians who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. What was thought to be 74% is now 63%.

“I didn’t like it. That’s all there is to it, I didn’t think it was acceptable in any way” Justice said.

On Thursday, WSAZ spoke briefly with Justice at Poca High School where he says his stance on a vaccine mandate has not changed.

“We cherish our freedoms in this country and, really and truly, we’ve got to be able to make choices. And so I stand firm that we don’t need to be mandating anything right now,” Justice said.

West Virginia is now among the 10 least vaccinated states. Justice says he believes they are doing a good job.

“We got out so much ahead of everybody that we had to hit a wall. Everybody hit a wall. We had to hit a wall. But if you look at West Virginia and all of this stuff that we’re doing, it’s hard to argue how we’ve done. We’ve done a pretty good job,” Justice said.

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