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Will Kentucky hit a vaccination plateau before reaching herd immunity?

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to break records in Kentucky, there is a concern that interest could peak and the vaccinations could plateau before we reach herd immunity.

Dr. Ryan Stanton says the latest survey shows around 50 to 55 percent of Kentuckians will get the vaccine when they can. The worry is that to reach herd immunity, the magic number is 75 to 80 percent. Stanton says we won’t know for sure how short or close we are to those levels until mid-year.

What worries Dr. Stanton is this could get to the point where we see flare ups of cases year round and chances for the virus to mutate easier because we don’t reach herd immunity.

He says there are some driving forces behind the hesitancy and lower numbers. He said politics have played a role not just with the vaccines, but throughout the pandemic.

“There’s a lot of false narrative and myths and dogmas that are still out there that are simply not true. Whether it’s the newness of the vaccines, whether it’s the risk for whatever the perceived association it is with potential risks for them. They just aren’t there and those aren’t factual,” Dr. Stanton said.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says they did see a slow down in appointments being made until they opened vaccine eligibility for 18 and older, and they are still seeing interest in vaccines.

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