UPDATE: FDA OKs vaccine for younger age group; State easing more bar restrictions

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UPDATE POSTED 5:30 P.M.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15 years old, opening the door for another step toward getting more of the nation vaccinated.

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A process for the shots and final CDC authorization could come by the end of the week.

The move had been expected but came a few days earlier than anticipated.

It sets up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year.

The announcement comes a month after the company found that its shot, which is already authorized for those age 16 and older, also provided protection for the younger group.

The FDA could approve Pfizer’s use by even younger children sometime this fall.

The FDA action will be followed by a meeting of a federal vaccine advisory committee to discuss whether to recommend the shot for 12- to 15-year-olds. Shots could begin after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopts the committee’s recommendation.

Those steps could be completed in a matter of days.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 5 P.M. MONDAY, MAY 10, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced more than 80% of Kentuckians 65 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. To date, 1,875,554 people have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky.

“No matter where you are in the commonwealth, you could get vaccinated tomorrow with a very short drive,” said Beshear durintg his Monday briefing. “We need people to keep getting vaccinated. It’s proven to be incredibly safe and effective.”

Beshear said 852 out of 857 (99.42%) of all Kentuckians who died due to COVID-19 on or after Feb. 1, 2021, were unvaccinated.

The governor also announced that on May 28, the state will lift the curfew on restaurants and bars and will allow bar seating.

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, reminded Kentuckians that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds this week.

Dr. Stack said on kycovid19.ky.gov’s Desktop Dashboard, Kentuckians can now see positivity rates by county.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, May 10, Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 167
Positivity rate: 3.25%

For information on cases and hospital capacity, see the full daily COVID-19 report. To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.

The top 10 counties for highest number of first vaccine doses administered May 3-9 are:

Jefferson (6,553); Fayette (2,850); Boone (1,670); Kenton (1,536); Hardin (903); Campbell (864); Daviess (683); Warren (578); McCracken (551); and Oldham (506).

To see all vaccination sites and free transportation options to and from vaccination appointments, visit vaccine.ky.gov. To see a list of vaccination sites that have openings this week, visit vaccinemap.ky.gov. If Kentuckians have questions, they should call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians).

Because so many Kentuckians have received COVID-19 vaccines, the state has been able to increase capacity in most businesses to 60% and return child care classrooms to their traditional sizes. In addition, state officials have been able to shorten and simplify Healthy at Work minimum requirements and lift the mask mandate for smaller, outdoor events. As outlined in today’s release, additional restrictions will be lifted May 28.

For detailed information on COVID-19 vaccinations and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.