FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky unveiled the rest of its plan to vaccinate its citizens against COVID-19 on Monday.
The state is still working to vaccinate long-term care residents and staff as well as frontline healthcare workers in "Phase 1a." People age 70 and older, first responders and K-12 school personnel will be vaccinated next in "Phase 1b," and that could start by February.
Kentucky unveiled its remaining vaccine phases on Monday: 1c includes anyone age 60 and older, anyone 16 and older with a high-risk medical condition, and all essential workers; Phase 2 includes anyone over age 40; Phase 3 includes anyone older than 16; Phase 4 includes children under 16, provided that the FDA approves a vaccine for children.
Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday expressed his dissatisfaction with how fast Kentucky, along with the rest of the country, is currently distributing initial shipments of COVID-19 vaccines.
Kentucky was allocated about 202,000 COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna in December, with another 57,000 doses expected to arrive early this week. As of Sunday, Kentucky has administered about 60,400 vaccines.
“I’m not OK with the pace at which they are currently being provided," the governor said.
Going forward, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said Kentucky hopes to administer 90% of all vaccines received within seven days of arrival, and to vaccinate "more than half of every interested Kentuckian" by June.
To do this, Kentucky will allow vaccination sites to give shots to patients in lower tiers if those sites have no upper-tier vaccinations scheduled. This is to make sure all vaccines are used in a more efficient manner, Stack said.
"We're still going to prioritize and start at the top of the pyramid every week. We're going to ask every site, schedule your vaccine for people who are at the highest tiers, but the goal is not to have it wait and hang over until the next week. It's to administer it, use it, and then when you get the next shipment, start over again," Stack said.
Health officials are still working on vaccination site plans, locations and an appointment scheduling system, Stack said.
COVID-19 positivity rate jumps
Kentucky's COVID-19 positivity rate rose to 11.18% Monday, up from 8.41% last week. Beshear attributed the "concerning" jump in virus positivity to more asymptomatic cases and cases spreading at Christmas gatherings, though it is still too early to tell if New Year's gatherings will have a similar effect.
The governor reported 2,319 new coronavirus cases and 26 virus-related deaths on Monday, including two people from Boone County, four women and a man from Campbell County, two men in Grant County, and seven people from Kenton County.
Since March, 279,143 COVID-19 cases and 2,749 virus-related deaths have been reported in Kentucky.
Hospitalizations increased Monday, with 1,737 Kentuckians currently hospitalized for COVID-19, 456 people in intensive care units and 216 on ventilators.
The state's coronavirus fatality rate, the proportion of people who die out of people who test positive for the virus, remains at 0.99%.
Using the state's contact tracing database, NKY Health reports 2,728 active coronavirus cases in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties, and 21,306 people have recovered from the virus as of Monday. Since the pandemic began, 167 Northern Kentuckians have died from the virus.
Watch a replay of the briefing in the player below: