More vaccine sites announced for Kentucky in governor’s update



Katherine Duckworth

In a March 4, 2021 press conference, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on the COVID-19 Pandemic and announced 157 new vaccine locations across Kentucky. At least three of the new locations are in Fayette County.

This will bring the total number of vaccine sites in Kentucky to 567 as Kentucky continues to see a decline in COVID-19 cases.

According to Beshear, there were 1,068 new COVID-19 cases and 28 new deaths across Kentucky. One death was a 96-year-old from Fayette County. 12 new Kentuckians are now on a ventilator due to COVID-19.

Overall, COVID-19 cases are down from last week, but up from the week before, Beshear said. However, the positivity rate is now 4.45%, the lowest rate since Oct. 12.

Beshear urged Kentuckians to continue to wear masks. Kentucky’s mask mandate was recently extended another 30 days, while other states have ended theirs.

“What some other states are doing is reckless,” Beshear said. “We’ve seen them do it before and they’ve paid the price…Let’s do this right and let’s protect each other.”

Mask wearing was not the only type of protection Beshear discussed in the press conference. Beshear said he has “a lot of optimism” in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine rates.

“Right now, we still see appointments gobbled up as quickly as they come out” Beshear said. “That’s going to change in really soon. If you’ve had a tough time getting an appointment, you’re going to get one in the next three months and it’s going to open up real quickly.”

Beshear announced the opening of 157 new COVID-19 vaccine locations across the state. Many of the new locations are in Kroger and Walmart pharmacies. Three new locations in Fayette County are Kroger pharmacies. Other new locations include various independent pharmacies.

Independent pharmacies will only offer the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine. According to Beshear, Kentucky is going to receive 36,500 doses of the vaccine this week. Due to vaccine availability, the state will not receive any of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine next week; however, Kentucky is expected to receive more doses the following week.

Beshear said he thinks Kentucky is doing well on the vaccine hesitancy front.

“We have not reached hesitancy yet and I don’t think we will this month. I think we are still at that place where I think the vast majority of people want to get the vaccine,” Beshear said.

He expects that to be more of a consideration in the next three months as Kentucky continues through the vaccination phases.

Beshear continued the discussion about vaccines warning “over the next three months, we’re going to get to a point where we’re going to really have to focus on hesitancy… I don’t believe the hesitancy is necessarily foundational, meaning…I think it’s soft hesitancy in that people are still wanting to see what happens,” Beshear said.

He said he thinks Kentucky will ‘very quickly’ have people rushing to get the vaccine.