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KEYSER, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice on Monday named Mineral County among nine statewide in which officials are hoping to encourage more residents to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine.

During a press conference, the Republican governor said Mineral County is one of those where they “really need some special help” in spurring folks to pre-register for a shot through the state’s online portal. Nearby Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties were also named.

About 279,000 people statewide have pre-registered since the system went online in January, Justice said.

Mineral County Health Department Administrator A. Jay Root said Monday that his office was still working to get through the list of people who registered through his office before the state system went online.

Last week’s snowstorm hampered vaccine distribution efforts, Root said. This week, he said, plans are to administer 600 doses during a clinic Friday; but as of Monday, half the doses needed had not been received.

“If everything goes OK with this week and we do get our vaccine, we probably have, give or take, about 460 to 475 (people) that we have left to do on our list,” Root said.

Statewide as of Monday, 430,200 doses of the vaccine had been distributed. Of around 27,000 Mineral County residents and 3,875 shots given so far, 2,540 people have been partially vaccinated and 1,335 have received both doses of the COVID-19 shot, per state Department of Health and Human Resources data.

More than 2,300 total shots have been administered to county residents older than 65. Mineral County has distributed the most shots in the four-county region consisting of Mineral, Grant, Hampshire and Hardy counties.

The state’s portal, www.vaccinate.wv.gov, is open for pre-registration for residents 16 years of age and older, but they are vaccinating those 65 and up presently. While Root said it may be a while until they can receive a shot, he said folks who are interested in receiving one should sign up sooner rather than later.

That will place them higher up on the list when their time does come, Root said, as folks get the shot in the order they’re registered.

As of Monday afternoon, Mineral County reported 2,424 COVID-19 cases, of which 52 were active. The infection rate was 5.32 per 100,000 and percent positivity 1.74%.

Lindsay Renner-Wood is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News, covering West Virginia and more. Follow her on Twitter

@LindsayRenWood, email lrenner-wood@times-news.com or call 304-639-4403.

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