Eight Kentucky health departments are participating in the “Kentucky COVID-19 Vaccine Extravaganza” in July and August to get more Kentuckians vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus.
“It’s important for Kentucky families to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, especially as we’re seeing increased COVID-19 cases across the commonwealth,” a state news release says. “Getting a COVID-19 vaccine and staying up to date with boosters is the best protection against serious illness from the virus.”
“Up to date” means you’ve received all vaccine and booster doses that you are eligible to receive. Click here for an easy-to-read chart that shows COVID-19 vaccination schedules for each age group and each brand of vaccination, as well as for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
Plenty of Kentuckians still need to get vaccinated, fully vaccinated or boosted. The state reports that 66% of the state’s population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; 57% are fully vaccinated and 26% have been boosted. Research indicates that a booster is needed to protect against the current variant.
The 16 vaccine clinics are sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and several health-related organizations, including the Kentucky Association of Health Plans and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Many clinics will offer gift cards to anyone who is eligible for and receives a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, while supplies last, according to the news release.
The clinics are timely, since the risk of COVID-19 has escalated and school is about to start. Also of concern, hospitalizations which had been on the decline and stayed rather flat for weeks, have had a steady, slow rise.
Gov. Andy Beshear urged Kentuckians to get vaccinated or boosted at his Thursday news conference: “The number one thing you can do to protect yourself — and folks, you do need to protect yourself — is to get vaccinated.”
In particular, Beshear urged those 65 and older to make sure they are fully vaccinated and boosted. He noted that while 97% of this age group has had at least one dose of a vaccine and 86% of them are fully vaccinated, only 60% are boosted. Research indicates a booster is needed for protection against the latest variant.
“Waning immunity is a real thing,” Beshear said. “The current COVID variant can cause significant harm, especially if you are over 65. So my message today is Kentuckians over 65, if you’re not boosted, go get it as quickly as you can. If you’re eligible for your second booster, go get it as quickly as you can.”