Ky. ranks 29th in US for full COVID-19 vaccination

The country's vaccination rate has fallen sharply from more than 3 million shots a day in early April to 1.62 million.

by

Al Cross

Kentucky ranks 29th among the states in percentage of population fully vaccinated for the coronavirus and 28th in the share of residents who have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to The Washington Post.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 38% of Kentucky’s population is fully vaccinated and 46 percent of state residents have received at least one does of a vaccine. Two of the three available vaccines require two doses.

State officials emphasize the one-dose percentage. The state Department for Public Health says that among the Kentuckians who are eligible to get a vaccine, those age 12 and older, 54 percent have had a shot.

The University of Louisville’s health system will be the first major one in Kentucky to require employees to get a coronavirus vaccine. The rule will take effect Sept. 1, when U of L Health expects at least one of the three vaccines currently approved for emergency use will have final federal approval. It estimates more than 70% of its 12,000 workers in five hospitals, four medical centers and over 200 physician practices have been vaccinated. “Atria Senior Living, an assisted-living company based in Louisville, requires the COVID-19 vaccines for its 10,000 member workforce nationwide, as do two other senior living companies with sites in Louisville, the Courier Journalreports.

Kroger Co. is offering customers, employees and other people who get a vaccination the chance to win $1 million or free groceries for a year, the Courier Journal reports: “The sweepstakes are being offered in collaboration with the Biden administration as part of the president’s bid to get the U.S. toward the threshold of herd immunity, where so many Americans are protected against the new coronavirus that it can’t spread.”

Alexandra Ellerbeck writes for The Washington Post: “The vaccination rate in the United States has fallen sharply from an average of more than 3 million shots a day in early April to around 1.62 million shots. And although the administration only needs to average about half a million shots a day to reach the July 4 deadline, the number of people who say they want a vaccine but haven’t gotten one is quickly shrinking. Only 4% of adults fall in the category of unvaccinated people who say they want a shot ‘as soon as possible.’ A similar proportion of people have an appointment scheduled for a vaccine or plan to make one in the next three months, even though they say they want to “wait and see” before getting a shot,” according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. “If both those groups follow through, it may be just enough to reach Biden’s goal.”

Kentucky Health News

Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.