COVID Booster Available to Many Kentuckians

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear detailed on Monday who can receive a booster COVID vaccine in the state, including frontline workers. The governor stressed that the shot would only be available for most Kentuckians if they previously received two doses of the Pfizer shot. The state is urging everyone who qualifies for a booster to get one.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized Pfizer’s booster for specific groups. Beshear outlined the criteria Kentucky will use to administer the third vaccine.

Anyone who received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine who is immune-compromised can get the booster, but that is the only approved usage of the third Pfizer shot for Moderna recipients. The third shot must be at least 28 days after the second shot. Beshear added, “If you got J&J (Johnson & Johnson vaccine), there is no second or third shot at the moment.”

Kentucky will also provide boosters for anyone who received two Pfizer shots six months ago or longer if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Age 65 or older;
  • Live in a long-term care facility;
  • Age 18-64 with any medical condition (BMI of 25 or higher, diabetes, heart, kidney, or lung disease);
  • Exposed at work to numerous people, putting them at a heightened risk of infection (frontline workers, health care, education); or
  • Live in a congregate care setting.

The state’s positivity rate and hospitalizations continue to decline. Monday’s totals included 1,729 new cases, 19 deaths, and a positivity rate of 10.55%. Additionally, the number of people vaccinated continues to climb, up to 2,688,829, or 71% of all eligible Kentuckians. Although, the governor said, “We still have too many people in ICU.”

Federal nursing teams are arriving at various medical facilities across the state to help administer monoclonal antibodies. Three nursing teams are now at Baptist Health Corbin. More teams will arrive later this week at Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky, Taylor Regional Hospital in Campbellsville, and Middlesboro ARH Hospital. However, Beshear warned that supplies of the antibodies remain a concern.