FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky’s weekly vaccine allotment from the federal government grew for the first time since allocations leveled off in January, increasing the number of Kentuckians that can be immunized against COVID-19 as the state’s vaccination program continues its over performance.
January’s allocations stabilized at around 55,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
(The state’s reporting system only shows first doses because, according to Gov. Andy Beshear, “the single most important metric” is how many unique people are “on the road to protection.”)
On Tuesday, Kentucky received 68,475 first doses, reflecting a 17 percent increase in countrywide allocations promised by President Joe Biden. A separate 5 percent countrywide increase will show up in next week’s allocation.
Including Tuesday’s allocation, Kentucky has now administered 79 percent of the first-dose vaccines it has received, or 385,695 of 490,975 first doses received.
That includes 80,925 doses funneled through the long-term care program, which is administered by CVS and Walgreens through a federal contract. Of those doses, 59,154 have been administered.
Kentucky’s weekly vaccine utilization rate has come in above 120 percent each week since Jan. 5.
Utilization rates figure to trend back down beneath 100 percent as the state exhausts its supply of unused doses. Still, the rates are a sign of how efficient Kentucky’s vaccination program has become.
Another sign exists in vaccinations among teachers.
Beshear has said K-12 educators, at both public and private schools, were on track to receive their first shots by Friday. Tuesday he noted Kentucky is “on track to become the fastest state to vaccinate our teachers.”
Building on that, the governor said new guidance for Kentucky’s schools is forthcoming.
Most Kentucky schools districts are currently in a hybrid model. The staff vaccinations allow for more “flexibility,” potentially allowing schools to increase in-person education and getting students back into classrooms for some semblance of normalcy as the school year ends.
The new guidance, per CDC recommendations, will continue to require social distancing, masking and ventilation proper.
It will take effect March 1, Beshear says.
Kentucky reported 2,592 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 51 new virus-related deaths Wednesday.
The death count among long-term care residents is significantly declining, according to Beshear, perhaps an early effect of mass vaccinations in those facilities.
Currently 1,340 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those hospitalized, 368 are in ICUs and 171 are on ventilators.
The state’s rolling seven-day positivity rate continues to decline. Currently it stands at 8.53 percent.
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