State vaccinating more than it can get from feds, needs more

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Unless the amount of vaccines the state gets from the federal government increases, the spread of vaccinations through the community will continue to be sluggish, state leaders said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus cases in the state remains high but the numbers for last week were below the previous week’s record and below the third week in November.

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The governor said 332,450 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been received in Kentucky and 221,440 doses have been administered. Of the doses administered, 36,970 have been given to long-term care facility residents and staff.

More than 83,000 doses were administered from Jan. 10 to 16, about 16,000 more than were administered the week prior. Of the doses administered, 209,736 were first doses and 11,704 were booster doses.

The governor said Kentucky is now administering the vaccine faster than the federal government is sending it new doses. The state expects to receive 56,175 new doses next week. Kentucky has been recognized as one of only nine states that have administered more than half of the doses they’ve received.

“Right now we can’t guarantee that every pharmacy across Kentucky gets vaccine, because we don’t have enough supply. That’s why today I formally requested from Operation Warp Speed that the federal government double the amount of vaccine we receive every week,” said Beshear. “We are proving we can get it out there. We are proving that we are efficient. We are proving that we can get it into people’s arms.”

“I am confident that in Kentucky if we had unlimited vaccine, we could easily immunize 200,000 to 250,000 people a week, if not more today, if we had enough vaccine,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “We get about 54,000 doses per week approximately, and that’s all we can do.”

Beshear said he will follow New York’s lead and ask drug companies if it would be possible to buy more vaccines besides what is allocated through the federal system based on population. He also said a third vaccine, possibly Johnson and Johnson, can’t come soon enough.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 2,250, bringing to 330,907 total in the state

New deaths today: 27
Positivity rate: 11.55%, the second lowest rate since Jan. 5
Total deaths: 3,194
Currently hospitalized: 1,633
Currently in ICU: 442
Currently on ventilator: 208

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Campbell, Warren, Fayette and Kenton. Each of these counties reported 80 or more new cases.

To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.

To view the full daily reportincidence rate map, information on testing locationsvaccinescontact tracingschool reports and guidanceguidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.