Health

All Kentucky hospitals involved in the first shipment of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine have now received their doses.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday that Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, the last of the 11 hospitals to receive the vaccine, has accepted its shipment. The other 10 received shipments earlier this week.

Michael Yungmann, president of Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital, said in a statement, “a corner has been turned.”

“While it has been a long year, today is a day for celebration,” he said. “We’re honored to be delivering the first COVID-19 vaccinations in Western Kentucky and to play a role in this historic moment of going on offense against coronavirus. Thank you to the Governor and his administration for the leadership and coordination that has made this moment possible.”

Beshear called the deliveries “an exciting time” in the statement. But he cautioned that COVID-19 will continue to spread until the vaccine is more widely available.

“With these life-saving vaccines being administered right now to our front-line workers, the beginning of the end of the coronavirus crisis is in sight,” he said. “We are also continuing to see fewer cases week over week, with today’s number down from last Wednesday. This is all great news, but it will take time before these modern medical miracles are available to everyone.”

There were 2,898 new COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths in Kentucky on Wednesday. Nearly 1,800 Kentuckians are in the hospital with COVID-19, 460 are in the ICU and 239 are on ventilators.

Beshear also said the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund portal will close by the end of the day. More than 150 applications have been received as of Tuesday afternoon.

John Boyle is WFPL news editor. Previously, he was a reporter and editor at focused on Southern Indiana. He is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.