Health

Kentucky expects to receive about 115,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in two shipments beginning in December.

The commonwealth recorded more cases of COVID-19 in November than at any other point in the pandemic. Medical experts expect those numbers will climb even higher in the coming weeks due to holiday travel, but it appears fortune has begun to turn in the state’s favor. 

Kentucky is set to receive 38,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in its first shipment and another roughly 76,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine later in December, said Gov. Andy Beshear. That’s about three times fewer doses than the state initially expected to get. 

A coronavirus vaccine consists of an initial injection, followed by a booster shot. Beshear said boosters should arrive three weeks after the first batch of shots. Together, medical experts have found these vaccines to be more than 90 percent effective.

“It’s a testament to modern medical science,” said Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack.   

Beshear said the first doses of vaccine will go to certain healthcare workers and long-term care facility staff and residents with the goal of reducing deaths. Long-term care residents make up almost two-thirds of COVID-19 deaths and need a higher amount of resources when they are hospitalized. 

“If we can get through and vaccinate our residents and our staff we can cut off 66% of the deaths that we are seeing right now,” Beshear said. 

The state plans to finalize distribution plans and send them to the federal government this week. State health officials are also participating in a mock delivery of the vaccine this week to prove the plan’s effectiveness, Beshear said. 

Stack hopes that by next summer, the vaccine will be available to most Kentuckians, but expects the rollout to take most of next year, he said. 

So there is light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re not there yet. 

Kentucky reported 2,124 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and another 12 deaths. 

Beshear said numbers may have been artificially low over the holiday, and expects reported cases to grow again this week. 

Case Information as of 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30:

  • New cases today: 2,124
  • New deaths today: 12
  • Positivity rate: 9.42%
  • Total deaths: 1,908
  • Currently hospitalized: 1,741
  • Currently in ICU: 421
  • Currently on ventilator: 229
Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter.