Governor, first lady receive booster shots in public

Published 3:22 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

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Gov. Andy Beshear has been urging Kentuckians who are eligible to get their COVID-19 booster shot, so on Thursday both he and first lady Britainy Beshear received theirs during a Capitol press briefing.

The governor noted nearly 100% of COVID cases in Kentucky are still due to the delta variant, and that the number of cases are once again tracking lower this week, but only slightly, compared to last week.

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“It does give us some pause about whether or not our decline is slowing,” he said.  “Certainly, the curve of that decline, the slope will not be as significant next week.  Our hope is that this is just a one-week issue, but it’s starting to look like it may be approaching and/or reaching a plateau.”

State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the state is gearing up to begin offering the Pfizer vaccine to children ages 5-11, now that the FDA and CDC have given their blessing.

“Unlike when we did this in December and January there will be plenty of vaccine, so that every parent and every child will have a chance to be able to get vaccinated,” Stack said. “There will not be all the vaccine on day one, but over the first few weeks it’ll very clearly escalate the availability very widely.”

He noted the vaccine for children, which is about one third the adult dose, is very safe.  “In the trail that led up to the hearing for this, over 3,000 children, not a single one of them in that study had any cardiac issues.  There also were no other serious or major adverse events, and the children tolerated the vaccine with fewer side-effects than in the studies done for the adults.”

Stack added, that while children don’t suffer from COVID as much as adults do, “In the population under 18 in the United States, there have been more than six million children under 18 who have been infected with COVID, there have been more than 8,300 hospitalizations, and there have been at least 745 deaths.”

Beshear added, on expanded federal approval for children 5-11, “This vaccine plays an important role in helping keep our children safe, our schools open and our families healthy.  The federal government has already begun distributing pediatric vaccine doses to locations across the U.S.  Here in Kentucky, we should have the ability to begin administering doses as soon as next week. I encourage you to talk to your pediatrician, school nurse, pharmacist or other trusted medical provider to learn more about why this vaccine is important to protect our kids and overcome this virus.”