Due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine allocations having slowed to a trickle because of high demand, state officials have announced that, at least for now, West Virginia’s current available supply is being distributed only to the state’s largest 12 counties.

According to Mingo County Health Administrator Keith Blankenship, health officials from the MCHD, the Williamson Health and Wellness Center, and Hurley Drug Company — the three Mingo County health agencies having received and administered the vaccine here — were informed of the decision late last week.

During a Zoom meeting held on Friday, Jan. 15, retired WV National Guard Major General and current Director of the WV Joint InterAgency Task Force Jim Foyer said the delay in vaccine distribution to the smaller counties was specifically because of the state’s supplies having been reduced by the federal government and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Blankenship said he is unsure how long it will be before supplies of the vaccine once again begin coming back to Mingo and all the other smaller counties.

“Right now it looks as if it could be at least two weeks, maybe even a little longer, we just don’t know at this point,” Blankenship said.

“I think it’s important for our residents to know that it’s really out of our control … basically, we’re one of 43 counties in the same situation right now.”

Blankenship said the follow-up vaccines for the 600 first-round doses the MCHD has already administered — as well as all those having already been given out by the WHWC and Hurley Drug Company — during the last two weeks should not be affected by the delay and are still on schedule to be given out during the first week of February.

For more details, see this week’s edition of the Mingo Messenger.