Governor Andy Beshear says Kentucky is in a position to receive an influx of the COVID-19 vaccine when the first major shipment arrives next month.
Beshear visited a Kroger Health mass vaccination site in Bowling Green on Friday. The clinic has already vaccinated some 2,300 people in the week since it opened. Beshear said the state is getting about 80,000 doses of the vaccine each week, but has the capability to administer more than a quarter-million doses per week.
“We can build out the infrastructure to when we get several hundred-thousand vaccines a week, that we are capable of already providing, that we can get them out quickly and our citizens do not have to wait," Beshear said.
Close to 300 total vaccination sites are open in Kentucky, including 28 new ones announced on Thursday. The additional vaccination clinics include locations in Albany, Campbellsville, Hartford, Bardstown, Owensboro, Somerset, Leitchfield, and Russellville.
The commonwealth is expecting its first major shipment of the vaccine at the end of March. More than 12% of Kentucky’s population has so far received at least the first injection of a COVID vaccine.
During his visit to Bowling Green, Beshear also asked mass distribution clinics to prioritize the elderly when it comes to giving the vaccine.
“Our 70 and older population is becoming a larger and larger percentage of our vaccinations, which means we’re doing a really good job of focusing on them now," Beshear said. "We’re at 200,000, or right around there, who have been vaccinated in that group.”
Beshear expects the state to have reached all seniors age 70 and older who want to be vaccinated by early March. That’s also when people in the 1C category can begin receiving immunizations under the state’s vaccination plan. Seniors who are 60 and older are part of that category.
Kentucky has experienced five consecutive weeks of declining case numbers. On Friday, the Beshear administration reported 1,993 new cases of the coronavirus and 28 additional deaths. The latest figures put the state’s total number of confirmed cases to 394,687, and push the death toll past 4,400.