FILE – COVID-19 vaccine trials

(The Center Square) – The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in West Virginia from Pfizer by mid-December and from Moderna shortly after, Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday.

Justice made the announcement after receiving the news in a call with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The governor also discussed the state’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the call.

Those who receive the vaccine will have to receive two doses: an initial dose and then a second dose about three or four weeks after the initial one.

“We are ready the very second we receive doses of the vaccine in our state,” Justice said in a statement. “Genera [James] Hoyer and the West Virginia National Guard are leading the charge on this. We’ve got it down pat. We’re ready to go, and we just hope and pray that more and more of this vaccine will be flowing into West Virginia.”

Justice said he intends to issue an executive order next week to set up a task force that will be responsible for coordinating the distribution of the vaccine.

“The Governor has directed us to identify where we can best administer the initial vaccines – understanding that they will come in in small chunks – with a focus on mitigating fatalities, which means we will begin an initial focus in nursing home facilities since, as we know, 44 percent to almost 50 percent at times during this pandemic of our fatalities have come from those facilities,” Hoyer said in a statement.

Justice also urged West Virginians to exercise caution during Thanksgiving celebrations as case counts continue to increase heading into colder months.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.