coronavirus vaccine

Baptist Health

A major hospital system that mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees is reporting a nearly 100% compliance rate with the requirement. 

Baptist Health announced in early August that all staff, contractors and vendors at its nine hospitals in Kentucky and Indiana, along with those at the Baptist Health Medical Group, a network of more than 1,100 physicians and clinicians, would need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31 unless they got an exemption for religious or medical reasons. 

Those with exemptions may be moved to areas where they don’t directly care for patients, and will be required to be tested regularly. 

Baptist Health’s chief strategy and marketing officer Dr. Jody Prather said that as of Nov. 12, 99.6% of the overall hospital system workforce — around 25,000 — had complied.

The Food and Drug Administration has given its OK for fully vaccinated Americans who are age 18 and older to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

The FDA on Friday granted emergency use authorization for a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which had already been available to people 65 and older and to anyone 18 years and older who is at elevated risk of contracting COVID-19.

Metro Nashville Public Schools

Quite a few Tennessee counties are still reporting almost no children under 12 taking the newest COVID vaccine. Through Tuesday evening, 18 counties had yet to report giving a single dose.

In Middle Tennessee, Cannon, Clay, Fentress, Grundy, Houston, Macon, Moore, Lewis, Perry, Pickett, Stewart, Trousdale and Van Buren counties have reported no kid vaccinations. Officials with the Tennessee Department of Health say counties don’t start publishing the data until they hit 10 doses, so some could just be in single digits. The does have been available since last week.

Dr. Jessica Miller is a pediatrician in Lafayette, the county seat of Macon County. She says she’s bringing up COVID shots with every family that comes in.

She sees value in combatting any hesitancy one-on-one, but she’d also like to see more public promotion. And there’s virtually none right now. Even Macon County’s COVID-19 page makes no mention of vaccines.


Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order Wednesday that dramatically expands the eligibility criteria for people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

The order allows any resident over the age of 18 to get a booster regardless of whether they have underlying medical conditions or where they work. Previous guidelines limited eligibility to people with certain health issues, high-risk jobs or people living in long-term care facilities. 

In a video message, Beshear said it was important residents have the highest possible level of immunity as they travel and gather with friends and family during the holidays.

“We are moving into the amazing holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas and other gatherings, which just last year proved that it can potentially be deadly,” Beshear said.

Stephanie Wolf

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 15,163 Kentucky children received their first dose in the first full week that COVID-19 vaccinations were open to 5- to- 11-year-olds, and he expects that number to double in the second week. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Nov. 3 for the age group to get the Pfizer shots. 

Beshear is urging more parents and caretakers to get their children vaccinated, as that age group now has the second highest positivity rate in Kentucky. 

“If you have a 5- to 11-year-old, they are significantly more likely to get COVID [now] than at any other point in the pandemic,” Beshear said Monday during a weekly news conference.

Updated October 7, 2021 at 9:27 AM ET

Pfizer and BioNTech are officially asking the Biden administration to authorize the use of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

Pfizer tweeted on Thursday that the companies had submitted their formal request for Emergency Use Authorization of the vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration.

Pfizer and BioNTech are another step closer to seeking authorization for young children to receive the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine, submitting data to the Food and Drug Administration that shows a "robust" antibody response and "favorable" safety outcomes in kids ages 5 to 11 who received the two-dose regimen in clinical trials.

Adam Willmann was born in Goodall-Witcher hospital in Clifton, a small town in central Texas. Now he's its CEO, and he's worried his hospital may have to stop delivering babies.

That's because some of the experienced nurses in the Goodall-Witcher obstetrics department aren't vaccinated for COVID-19 and don't intend to be. But under a new federal mandate, hospitals will soon have to require their staff to be vaccinated.

For the past several weeks, Dr. Boghuma Titanji has been swamped with questions about COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Even the experts seem confused, she says.

"I'm even getting questions from my colleagues, who are doctors, asking me, 'What should I do?' " says the infectious disease specialist at Emory University.

Corinne Boyer | Ohio Valley ReSource

Secretary for Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra appealed to Kentuckians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday. Speaking at a health policy forum hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Becerra urged people to save lives by wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

“Now, I shouldn't have to repeat this, but I will. The vaccines we have are safe. They are highly effective,” Becerra said. “More than 200 million Americans are alive today to tell you that they've had at least one shot. ”

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky released a recent vaccination poll that found 20% of Kentuckians surveyed are hesitant to receive the vaccine.

Becerra discussed the consequences of disinformation about the vaccine.

Updated September 20, 2021 at 10:31 AM ET

The first results from the highly anticipated trial studying the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 showed promising results.

The pharmaceutical companies said early results of their trial indicate the vaccine is safe for children and establishes a strong antibody response against the virus.

Ryan Van Velzer

A new poll shows a drop in the number of unvaccinated Kentuckians who say they’re unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky conducted the poll of 512 people between Aug. 4 and Sept. 4 showing that 20% of respondents said they would “probably” or “definitely” not get the vaccine. That’s down from 29% of people surveyed in March.

Ben Chandler, the president of the nonprofit and a former congressman, said the decrease shows people are taking the virus more seriously as it surges again.

“I really think personally that the delta variant has more to do with changing people’s minds than anything else,” Chandler said.

In a surprising vote, a panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended against approval of a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 years and older.

The 16-2 vote against broad use of the booster, which would be given about six months after completion of the two-dose immunization regimen, dealt a setback to Pfizer and complicates the FDA's approach to boosters.

The share of adults saying "no" to getting the COVID-19 vaccine dropped 5 percentage points in a month, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer's vaccine.

Roberto Roldan | WFPL

A grandmother from Louisville is Kentucky’s latest millionaire after winning the state’s COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes. 

Governor Andy Beshear announced Friday afternoon that Mary Mattingly was the third and final winner of the Shot at a Million initiative. Mattingly and her husband, Charlie, were traveling in South Dakota when they were told about their win. Beshear shared a short video of that initial call to Mattingly.

“I don’t deserve it more than anyone else who tries to do the right thing and has gotten vaccinated and has worn a mask and has social distanced, but I’ll accept it,” Mattingly said in the video. “I have four of the most beautiful grandchildren in the world, and of course they were part of my motivation in getting my vaccination just as soon as I possibly could.”

In a pre-recorded follow up video, Mattingly also encouraged all Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the virus.