Health

Though the FDA approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine late Friday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said it will still be some time before it’s widely available in the commonwealth.

In an emailed release on Saturday, Beshear reiterated his previous intention to prioritize vaccinating front line health care workers and  people in long-term health care facilities.

“It is morally imperative that we get the vaccine to the most vulnerable Kentuckians first,” he said.

“In the meantime, please keep doing what you know is right: wear your mask, keep your distance from others and don’t have large gatherings.”

Beshear announced 3,558 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky as of Saturday afternoon. Twenty-four more Kentuckians have lost their lives to the virus, bringing the total to 2,192 since the pandemic started.

Just over 1,711 people are hospitalized with the virus, with 423 in intensive care and 199 dependent on ventilators. Kentucky State Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said those numbers are concerning.

“Multiple Kentucky hospitals are still under strain and the market for available health care workers has become extremely tight as states around the nation experience massive COVID-19 surges, overwhelming their hospitals,” Stack said.

He urged anyone over 65 or with health problems to stay home as much as possible, “since leaving your home now places you at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.”

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects.