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Vaccine registry the right move

We field calls every day from local residents eager to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and almost all of the inquiries deal with frustration in getting through on the phone banks set up by local county health departments for vaccine clinics.

We aren’t going to directly fault our local public health officials for this, but it is 2021, after all. There should be a registration mechanism that allows residents to sign up for their shot either by phone or online, and then to get a call when their dose is ready. It’s simple.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Thursday that the state would enact such a registration method starting next week. This is a step in the right direction in getting shots into arms quickly.

West Virginia has received much national praise for its COVID vaccine distribution in recent days, and it’s well deserved. As of Thursday, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, nearly 2 percent of the state’s total population — 32,112 people — have received both doses of the vaccine. Another 7.5 percent of West Virginians — 137,068 people — has received the first dose. Overall, West Virginia has administered 8.94 doses per 100 people, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker. That’s second in the nation to Alaska.

Again, getting as many shots into as many arms as quickly as possible will save lives. That needs to be the only focus as we move forward with the state’s new registry.

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