FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky will receive an additional 60,100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of the year, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday.
The commonwealth was already slated to receive 38,025 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 76,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year (pending the latter’s approval by the FDA, expected Friday.)
Thursday’s announcement includes 27,300 new doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 33,800 new doses of the Moderna vaccine, putting the 2020 total at 175,825.
Gov. Andy Beshear noted that won’t be enough to fully vaccinate Kentucky’s frontline healthcare workers or long-term care staff and residents, though he expects that effort to be complete by the end of January if not sooner.
The governor has previously said EMS and first responders as well as educators could receive the next doses, though plans for further vaccinations remain up in the air both at the federal level and among states.
The first 12,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine made their way to each of the 11 Kentucky hospitals first in line for doses Tuesday, including to St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood.
“This is a very exciting time,” Beshear said Wednesday. “With these life-saving vaccines being administered right now to our front-line workers, the beginning of the end of the coronavirus crisis is in sight.”
The governor also rolled out an education and engagement campaign “to provide information and build confidence” surrounding the vaccines.
The campaign aims to raise awareness and public confidence about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and ensure public understanding of the rollout when that information becomes available.
The state will also engage with certain populations through direct channels based on outreach efforts with Black, rural and Hispanic populations to openly, honestly and effectively communicate about the vaccines’ safety.
Information about the vaccine will be on Kentucky’s official COVID-19 website, http://kycovid19.ky.gov/. The information will be posted Monday.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 hotline is now open 24 hours for vaccine questions: 800.722.5725.
“A shot is and always has been the end of wondering what might have happened,” Beshear said, “and this shot does more than keep you from getting sick, it gets you back to work, it gets our kids back to school, it gets our economy back and running again, it gets us back to the things we enjoy. It’s a shot of relief. It’s a shot of hope.”
Department for Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, highlighted KDPH’s winter holiday guidance, which includes:
- Limit the size of gatherings to two households and no more than eight people;
- Wear a face covering properly, sanitize hands often and stay six feet apart from other people;
- Do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household, or if any of the invited attendees: Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others; have symptoms of COVID-19; are waiting for COVID-19 viral test results; may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19;
- Limit travel; and
- Keep gatherings outdoors or in well-ventilated spaces as much as possible.
“Let’s not do Christmas in a way that would dishonor loving our neighbors as ourselves,” Beshear said.
Kentucky reported 3,349 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 54 new virus-related deaths Wednesday.
The death count is Kentucky’s largest of the pandemic.
“Our death report today is by far the most people that we’ve lost, and remember, that’s a reflection of where this virus was about three weeks ago, where it was trending,” Beshear said.
Twenty four more Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19 since Wednesday for a total of 1,817 current hospitalizations.
Twenty nine fewer Kentuckians are in ICUs for a total of 431. Fifteen more are on ventilators for a total of 254.
Kentucky’s rolling seven-day positivity rate is 8.45 percent. The indicator has fallen twelve of the last fourteen days.
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