With classrooms now reopened, younger WV teachers still question when they’ll be vaccinated

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

State officials say they’re still “prioritizing” vaccinating West Virginia school employees. But, at least when it comes to younger school workers, the state appears to be prioritizing others even more.

More than a week after the classroom reopening date he called for, Gov. Jim Justice still hasn’t provided even a rough estimation of when most school workers under 50 will start being vaccinated.

And he suggested Friday that, if vaccine shipments to the state don’t increase, it could be a while for those employees.


“As soon as I can possibly see my way forward, that we can glean off some of the vaccines that we’re getting,” Justice said, “if we’re able to get more increases in our order size, we’ll go back and get ’em.”

The situation is also uneven from county to county: Kanawha County said it has vaccinated many employees under age 50, while Harrison County Schools Superintendent Dora Stutler said her county has gone down to 40-years-old, plus 15 younger people with serious medical conditions.

Ryan Deems, president of Harrison’s branch of the National Education Association union, said neither he nor his wife, both teachers and both 31, have gotten their first shot.

“Educators were under the impression that we were going to be given the vaccine in a timely manner,” he said.