Following the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations amended authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Gov. Andy Beshear said today that his administration recommends the following Kentuckians who received a Pfizer vaccine series get a booster six months after their second shot:

• Individuals 65 and older;

• Those living in a long-term care facility;

• People 18 to 64 who have a medical condition that increases their risk of severe COVID-19 infection examples of these include diabetes, heart, kidney, or lung disease, or a BMI greater than 25; or

• People 18 to 64 who are likely to get exposed at their place of work examples of high-risk work environments include health care and education.

“What I want to do is clear up any confusion that’s out there and let you know who can get the boosters,” said Gov. Beshear. “If you are eligible, go get them. There are plenty of vaccine doses out there.”

In addition, the Governor said for immunocompromised individuals for example, people who are undergoing cancer treatment or who are taking a high dose of an immunosuppressant a third shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended at least 28 days after the second shot.

For those who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, no booster dose is recommended at this time.

“It appears that because of these vaccines, new cases may not only be plateauing, but we may be seeing a decrease in cases, hospitalizations, and the positivity rate,” said Gov. Beshear.

He added “With that said, we are still seeing far too many deaths, and this strain is killing more and more younger Kentuckians, primarily those who are unvaccinated. On Saturday, our report included a 39-year-old woman from Bell County. If you’re in your teens, 20s, 30s, or 40s don’t wait. Get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

Gov. Beshear also said the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services has confirmed five monoclonal antibody injection teams will arrive this week to provide treatment courses for Kentuckians with severe COVID-19.

“The teams are trained folks from the federal government that are going to come in and take over doing the monoclonal antibody treatments, which frees up other people in the hospital to tend to patients. Thursday, we are going to have our website up showing the 50-plus locations that you can get monoclonal antibodies, which will be in each area development district,” said Gov. Beshear. “We have been aggressive and we have argued our cause, which allowed us to receive more than the original ration, but over time that probably will not be the case. With our current rates of infection, there will not be enough for everyone.”

The injections will be administered subcutaneously (under the skin). Today, a team arrived at Baptist Health Corbin; on Sept. 29, teams will arrive at Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center in Floyd County and Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky; and on Oct 1, teams will arrive at Taylor Regional Hospital in Campbellsville and ARH Middlesboro. Each team will include two to four nurses and/or paramedics to assist with injections.

Kentucky National Guard, nursing student and testing support for hospitals

Currently, over 500 Kentucky National Guard members are deployed at hospitals across the commonwealth to assist health care heroes as they fight COVID-19. In addition, 27 hospitals are receiving nursing student support from Galen College of Nursing, Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, Jefferson Community and Technical College System campuses, and regional Kentucky Community and Technical College System campuses.

The state is also sponsoring six community testing sites across Kentucky, in partnership with Gravity Diagnostics, the University of Kentucky and Wild Health.

“With the recent spike of the delta variant, we have been providing the community with quick testing so we can stay on top of this,” said Jordan Kelsey, clinical specialist at Gravity Diagnostics. “If we don’t have testing, people are going to spread this even worse than it currently is. We are able to provide a safe environment besides the emergency room (ER). Here, we can get people in and out quickly and help relieve the ER. We get results back in 24 hours, while other clinics can take up to two or three days.”

COVID-19 case information update

Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,688,829

Number of people who received at least one vaccine dose since Friday: 16,537

From March 1 to Sept. 22, 86.7% of COVID-19 cases, 92.1% of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 84.6% of COVID-19 deaths in Kentucky have been among those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

The Governor reported that 60% of all Kentuckians, including those that are too young to be eligible, have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose; 71% of Kentuckians 12 or older, or 71%, of all eligible Kentuckians, have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose; and 73% of Kentucky adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Eleven Kentucky counties have reached the milestone of at least 60% of residents receiving at least their first dose: Anderson, Boone, Boyle, Campbell, Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson, Kenton, Perry, Scott, and Woodford.

Sept. 25, Cases: 3,171

Sept. 25, Deaths: 37

Sept. 26, Cases: 1,563

Sept. 26, Deaths: 31

New Cases Today: 1,729

New Deaths: 19

Today’s Positivity Rate: 10.55%

Current Hospitalizations: 2,045

Current Intensive Care Admittances: 617

Currently on Ventilators: 399

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