Coronavirus Health

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday that more COVID-19 vaccine doses are on the way to the commonwealth. More than 338,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Kentucky, but the state has the capacity to provide more if more supply were available. 

“We’re going to get about 8,800 new first doses a week. That is incredibly helpful — it’s not nearly enough — we could be doing a quarter of a million vaccines right now if we had the supply,” Beshear said.

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack addressed concerns about the new variant of the COVID-19 virus, which has been found in Kentucky. He says the variant is not more dangerous for a person but it is more contagious. That could lead to more infections and more deaths. But Stack said the vaccines available will work against the new variant. 

“These two mRNA vaccines after two doses are 95% effective for preventing severe COVID disease,” Stack said. “That’s phenomenal. Most vaccines are not that effective. Even if the virus gets a little bit more efficient, or more successful, that success rate is still so high that those vaccines are incredibly important.”

Kentucky saw a decline in new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday compared to previous weeks. Beshear announced 2,424 new cases of the virus.  

The state’s positivity has also fallen below double digits to 9.35%. 

But the state’s death toll continues to mount. The state reported 47 new deaths on Wednesday. In all more than 3,500 Kentuckians have died due to COVID-19.

Corinne Boyer covers health issues from partner station WEKU in Richmond, KY. Previously, she covered western Kansas for the Kansas News Service at High Plains Public Radio, where she received two Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards for her reporting on immigrant communities. Before living on the High Plains, Corinne was a newspaper reporter in Oregon. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and interned at KLCC, Eugene’s NPR affiliate. Corinne grew up near the South Carolina coast and is a graduate of the College of Charleston. She has also lived in New York City and South Korea.