Kentucky to receive another increase in COVID vaccine supply

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky is set to receive a 29% increase in its COVID-19 vaccination supply from the federal government starting next week, Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday.

The latest boost in shipments means the state's vaccine allocation from the federal government will have risen by 57% since President Joe Biden took office in late January, the Democratic governor said. More than 540,000 Kentuckians — or about 12% of the state's population — have received at least their first dose of vaccine as the state expands its vaccination network, he said.

“This vaccination machine is working," Beshear said at a news conference. "And it can vaccinate a lot more people than we are receiving supply.”

The state expects to get 87,860 doses from the federal government next week, he said.

State officials will “do everything in our power” to keep regional vaccination sites open in the coming days as Kentucky continues to deal with ice and snow, the governor said. The severe winter weather has caused disruptions at some inoculation sites, forcing appointments to be rescheduled.

Meanwhile, the governor reported 1,255 new coronavirus cases statewide, the lowest total for a Tuesday in more than a month, continuing a recent downward trend.

But the state reported 27 more virus-related deaths, raising Kentucky's death count to at least 4,318 since the pandemic started.

“We need to keep doing the right things, even with vaccines out there," Beshear said. "We’re still losing far too many people.”

He stressed the importance of mask wearing and social distancing to help curb the virus's spread.

More than 930 virus patients are hospitalized in Kentucky, including 272 in intensive care.

Sixty-three counties — slightly more than half the state’s counties — are reported to be in the red zone, the most serious category for coronavirus incidence rates, Beshear said. That's down from a prolonged period when counties statewide were in that category.

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