‘Little old West Virginia’ sets pace on vaccine rollout

‘little Old West Virginia’ Sets Pace On Vaccine Rollout
John Raby

Pharmacist Ric Griffith stands in his family's business Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Kenova, W.Va. Griffith & Feil is among 250 mom-and-pop pharmacies in West Virginia helping to vaccinate residents in the quest to banish the coronavirus pandemic.

West Virginia has emerged as an unlikely success in the nation’s otherwise chaotic coronavirus vaccine rollout. It’s largely a result of the state’s decision to enlist mom-and-pop pharmacies to give the shots, rather than agreeing to a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens.

Now more shots have gone into people’s arms per capita across West Virginia than in any other state. Federal data shows that at least 7.5% of the population has received the first of two shots. Republican Gov. Jim Justice is trumpeting the vaccine effort, saying it runs counter to preconceived notions about the state being backward.