Governor, first lady celebrate 1 millionth vaccination

Gov. Andy Beshear, first lady Britainy Beshear and Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack recognized the milestone of 1 million Kentuckians being vaccinated during a ceremony at the state Capitol on Monday.

“This is truly both a miracle of modern medicine and tribute to so many Kentuckians whose tireless work made this possible,” Beshear said. “This milestone brings us hope after losing nearly 5,000 of our beloved family members, friends and neighbors to COVID-19. Think about how far we have come in our ability to fight this virus, and how fast.”

The first COVID-19 vaccines that arrived in Kentucky were administered to health care workers on Dec. 14. Now, three months later, health care heroes have vaccinated 1 million Kentuckians.

Just days before the first Kentuckians were vaccinated, the state was reporting more than 3,500 new daily COVID-19 cases and a positivity rate close to 9%.

As the millionth Kentuckian was vaccinated Monday, the state’s positivity rate was below 4%, and the governor reported just 445 new cases on Sunday, marking Kentucky’s ninth straight week of declining cases.

On Monday, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman was in Graves County and Paducah visiting some of the state’s 567 vaccination sites that are rapidly distributing doses of the three safe and highly effective COVID-19 vaccines to Kentuckians. Each additional vaccination site moves the state closer to its goal that no Kentuckian will have to travel more than one county away from home to be vaccinated.

Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website, vaccine.ky.gov, shows Kentuckians which phase they are in specifically. Individuals can sign up for notifications so state officials can communicate with them when doses become available at new and existing sites. Vaccine.ky.gov also lists regional vaccination partners statewide, so Kentuckians can search their county or region and see how to schedule an appointment.

Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians), has the same features as the website. Kentuckians can get assistance completing the vaccine eligibility questionnaire and scheduling an appointment when doses are available. The hotline is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

Free or reduced-cost transportation to and from vaccine appointments is offered by public transit agencies across the commonwealth. These services are already operating in over 90 counties, covering 75% of all counties across Kentucky. Kentuckians can find transportation services near them by heading to kycovid19.ky.gov for a full list of participating public transit agencies and their phone numbers, or by calling the Kentucky COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline.

To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.