West Virginia to offer coronavirus vaccines to attendees of state basketball tournament

Health officials in West Virginia announced that residents can get COVID-19 vaccines at the two state basketball tournaments taking place this week.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said in a Saturday statement that staff will be available to provide COVID-19 vaccines during the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission’s girls and boys state basketball tournaments at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

Anyone over the age of 16 can get a vaccine before or during games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and on several days next week.

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“Everyone who can receive the vaccine should do so,” Dr. Sherri Young, health officer and executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said in the Saturday statement. “We understand that parents and teenagers are busy, so this is one way we hope to make the process more convenient for them.” 

Area residents can also get their COVID-19 vaccines by appointment, the department confirmed in the statement.

Everyone over the age of 16 in the U.S. is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

President BidenJoe BidenBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Biden to deliver remarks at Sen. John Warner's funeral Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump MORE last week announced that at least 80 percent of people over the age of 65 across the country have received at least one shot.

"To put it simply, if you've been waiting for your turn, wait no longer. Now is the time for everyone over 16 years of age to get vaccinated," Biden said Wednesday, adding that, despite the progress made, "the broad swath of American adults still remain largely unvaccinated."

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) said last week that the state will not lift its mask mandate until at least 70 percent of residents eligible get their coronavirus vaccine.