FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Beginning Monday all Kentuckians 16 and up will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.
The date is one week ahead of schedule. Previously Kentucky all adults were to gain eligibility April 12, though in announcing that date in early March Beshear held out the possibility it could be moved up.
The governor premised the decision on increasing cases and hospitalizations, particularly among young people, in several nearby states, something he attributed in part to the increasing prevalence of COVID-19 variants. Kentucky currently has 66 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant.
The availability of open appointments in parts of the commonwealth also factored into his decision.
There are currently open appointments at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, according to the governor. Sign up here.
Kentucky is the best performing state of its seven border states in terms of the percentage of its population to have received at least one vaccine dose, Beshear said.
More than 40 percent of Kentucky adults, or 1,352,477 Kentuckians, have received at least one vaccine dose to date. Earlier this week Beshear cited estimates of 70 percent vaccine uptake in order to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 indicators are slightly up from last week.
On Wednesday Kentucky recorded 815 newly confirmed cases and 22 new virus-related deaths as well as three new deaths from the state’s ongoing COVID-19 mortality audit.
The state’s positivity rate is 2.96 percent.
Currently 413 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 110 are in ICUs and 48 are on ventilators.
In positive news, for the second time in the last 10 days Kentucky reported no new cases among long-term care facility residents, nor were any new deaths among LTC residents reported Wednesday.
Currently there are 50 active cases among residents and 74 active cases among staff statewide.
This story will be updated.
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