Shots in arms

PRINCETON — A little over 17,000 people, which represents approximately 29.3 percent of Mercer County’s population, have received doses of vaccine against COVID-19.

The Mercer County Health Department and Bluestone Health Care Association, Inc. have been working over the last two weeks to get more people their first or second COVID-19 vaccinations. These vaccinations, administered the first week by the health department and the second week by Bluestone Health personnel, were by appointment at the Karen Preservati Center/ Princeton Rescue Squad Training Center. The goal was to administer about 4,800 vaccinations.

As of last Friday afternoon, about 4,400 vaccine doses had been distributed, according to Roger Topping, administrator of the Mercer County Health Department. The clinic for Friday had not yet closed for the day.

“It is good that we were able to put 4,400 doses in people’s arms in the last two weeks,” Topping said.

Mercer County has a population of 58,800, so 17,211 people or 29.3 percent – of the population has received a vaccination, he said.

Gov. Jim Justice recently encouraged more West Virginians to register for vaccinations. Residents can sign up online at or call 1-833-734-0965. Topping also urged people to sign up for appointments if they have not done so already.

“We still need more people to get on the computer and register, and if they have elderly friends they know don’t have computer, go and help them,” Topping said. “We have a large population of the elderly. We need to get them registered because they are the most vulnerable.”

“The only way to beat this is to get more doses into people’s arms, especially elderly,” he added.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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