Kentucky on track to be first state to vaccinate educators

Published 8:08 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2021

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Governor, Kentucky Department of Education to help schools reopen in some form March 1

On Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky is on track to become the first state to vaccinate educators.

“Our vaccination efforts right now are exciting to see. You walk into one of our vaccination centers and you see a workforce that is inspired,” said Gov. Beshear. “It is moving. You see people clearly walking around with purpose. You see faith in action. And you see people who have worked long shifts who are still smiling when that next person sits down.”

The Governor said reopening schools is a top priority, but density control, masking, proper ventilation and community mitigation must be in place.

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Gov. Beshear said he is working with the Kentucky Department of Education to create a plan where all schools can reopen for some form of in-person learning March 1. But, he noted that through the end of this school year, all schools will need to have a virtual option for parents who choose it.

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, updated Kentuckians on the state’s vaccine rollout reporting.

“We will begin reporting and updating daily how many unique people have been vaccinated in Kentucky. That, we will show next to the total number of first doses of vaccine allocated to the state and then you’ll also see a utilization percentage,” said Dr. Stack. “We’re committed to giving the second dose to everyone who gets the first dose, so the most important metric is who has started this vaccine series.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, if approved, will only require one dose, so the state can easily merge data on all three vaccinations using this new system focused on first doses.

The Governor added, “I will remind everyone that we get these doses late Monday or early Tuesday. So Tuesday and Wednesday, there’s always going to be the biggest difference between our supply and how many people we’ve vaccinated. But by the time we get to that next Monday, you’ll see we’ve administered as many vaccinations as we received that week, or even more.”

Dr. Stack also encouraged Kentuckians to stay safe this weekend during the Super Bowl.

“This is just like any other holiday or social event. You have to practice social distancing and stay home or keep gatherings very small. Wear your masks – please,” said Dr. Stack. “We can’t afford to have the disease spread now. With these mutations and these variants, it gives the virus the opportunity to learn how to defeat the antibodies that are forming to protect us after these vaccines.”