• The number of breakthrough cases represents 0.55% of the state's fully vaccinated population
  • The breakthrough deaths represent 0.008% of the state's inoculated residents
  • Gov. Jim Justice has launched a vaccine incentive for grandfamilies

More than 5,000 people in West Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources. 

The agency updated its COVID-19 dashboard over the weekend. New data showed a recorded 5,056 breakthrough infections since the state launched its vaccination program on Dec. 12, 2020. The number represents 0.55% of the state’s fully vaccinated population.  

In the same period, officials reported 118,182 cases among people who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but got infected before their second vaccine shot. 

The DHHR also reported a total of 69 breakthrough deaths, which represents 0.008% of the state’s fully vaccinated individuals. Overall, there have been 1,975 COVID-19 deaths in the state, more than 1,300 of which involved people aged 71 and older.

State officials also reported 20 additional virus deaths, mostly involving people older than 60. The daily positivity rate was at 11.77%, according to My Buckhannon.

As of Monday, West Virginia reported 188,660 total coronavirus cases and 3,074 deaths. There are 16,372 active COVID-19 cases in the state.

The state has fully vaccinated only 39.6% of its total population, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the state’s DHHS said that 50.8% of the population has been fully vaccinated. It is unclear why there is a large discrepancy between the numbers.

Cases in West Virginia are near hitting pandemic highs amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, prompting Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, to launch a new initiative that provides $150 school vouchers to residents raising their grandchildren if they get vaccinated. 

“If you’re a grandfamily and the grandparents have been vaccinated and you’ll just help us get the kids across the finish line, we’ll give you $150,” the governor said in a statement

Registration for the incentive will begin on Sept. 7. To qualify, all vaccine-eligible members of the grandfamily, including grandparents and grandchildren aged 12 and older, must have been given at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The grandfamily must also be enrolled in the West Virginia State University’s Healthy Grandfamilies program, which can be done here.

“We’ve been working every day to save our wisdom,” Justice said, adding: “Now, we’re hoping our wisdom will help us save our youth; save our future.”

vaccine-6165772_1920 Representation. Vaccine. Photo: Pixabay