Beshear announces vaccine eligibility for everyone 16 years and older

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Governor Andy Beshear announced Wednesday that starting Monday, all of Kentucky’s vaccination sites will be allowed to open for those 16 years and older for the Pfizer vaccine and 18 years and older for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

“We are seeing in a number of states an increase in cases and hospitalizations among younger people,” Beshear said. “We are seeing more young people end up in hospital because of the more aggressive [COVID-19] variants. We want to get ahead of [the variants].”

According to the New York Times, COVID-19 cases in the United States have risen by 20% in the past two weeks. The U.S. added 62,045 new cases on March 30.

Over 1.35 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“This is excellent,” Beshear said. “We got to keep this up. It’s going to require us to be enthusiastic when getting vaccines to people.”  

Beshear announced 815 new positive COVID-19 cases and 22 new coronavirus-related deaths. One death was from Warren County. The state’s positivity rate currently sits at 2.96%.

“Today’s COVID-19 report suggests that it’s going to be real close when determining whether or not we will see our 12th week of declining cases or if we will see a plateau,” Beshear said.

According to a report from the Kentucky Department of Public Health, Warren County has two confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant. The variant originated from the United Kingdom.

Beshear said Kentucky has prevented COVID-19 infections better than some states in recent weeks because of the continuation of safety measures, such as the mask mandate.

“We’re eventually going to get rid of every restriction we have, but we can’t do it too quickly because we can’t have people who haven’t been vaccinated die,” Beshear said. 

Leo Bertucci can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @leober2chee.