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Ky. sets new record of people vaccinated in one week; supply of COVID vaccine continues to be top concern

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 3:41 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear has provided an update on COVID-19 cases.

Governor Beshear reported 1,268 COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the state total to 347,836 cases. The governor says the state is seeing a 9.93 percent positivity rate. Of Monday’s new cases, 169 are in kids 18 or younger.

This is the second straight week the state has seen a decline in the total number of cases each week.

There were 39 reported COVID-19 related deaths on Monday. The state death total is now 3,460 deaths.

As of Monday, 1,539 people are hospitalized for COVID-19, 374 are in the ICU and 203 are on ventilators. At least 41,760 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

The governor also gave an update on vaccines. He said in the last week, the state vaccinated 82,511 people, which is the new record for the most Kentuckians vaccinated in one week.

The state’s vaccine distribution seems to have hit its stride.

That is thanks in part to healthcare workers like a group of 11 nurses at Baptist Health Corbin who have come out of retirement to administer shots in the COVID vaccine clinic.

“Once a nurse, always a nurse,” nurse Kathy Jones said. “I wanted to help, I wanted to get back in my community, and this is something I know I can do.”

“It’s like riding a bicycle, our retirees coming back,” nurse Karen Stephens said. “So, I think we’ve just fallen into the rhythm of the clinic flow and we’re just moving right along.”

Now, the only thing that can get in the way seems to be supply.

While the state vaccinated more than 82,000 people last week, it only received about 56,000 new doses.

“What that means is we were using leftover from especially the very first weeks when we were still building up our ability to provide this,” Gov. Beshear said. “What that means is by the end of next week or at the very most the week after, we’ll have used up every bit of excess we have.”

The governor has requested the state’s allocations double from Operation Warp Speed, and they’re also looking into reallocating extra doses from the long-term care facility program.

But, right now, it’s coming down to demand outpacing supply.

“It is an extreme limitation that’s holding us from getting our people vaccinated as quickly as we want,” Beshear said.

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