FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Former Gov. Matt Bevin "politely declined" his opportunity to receive an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Crystal Staley, communications director for Gov. Andy Beshear's office, confirmed Monday.
The news came as five former governors and their spouses spanning five decades of service to the Commonwealth received vaccinations Monday in Frankfort.
Those who received the Moderna vaccine Monday include Julian Carroll, John Y. Brown Jr., Martha Layne Collins and Bill Collins, Ernie and Glenna Fletcher, and Steve and Jane Beshear.
The former governors released to following joint statement Monday.
We all look forward to the day we can get back out into the Kentucky communities we love so much and gather with our friends and family, but until then, we urge our fellow Kentuckians to wear masks, limit their gatherings and take the vaccine. This vaccine is a medical miracle – the shot of hope Kentuckians and Americans have been looking forward to for almost a year to save lives, reduce the spread of this deadly virus, allow more of our neighbors to return to work and ensure our children and educators can safely return to school. This vaccine is safe, effective and our best hope of defeating COVID. We urge all Kentuckians to roll up their sleeves, take the fight to COVID and do their part to move the commonwealth forward.
Former Gov. Paul Patton, who went on to serve as president and then chancellor of the University of Pikeville, and his wife, Judi, are receiving the vaccine locally in Pikeville. Former Gov. Brereton Jones and his wife, Libby, were unable to attend Monday, but support the vaccines and will receive them as soon as possible. All four join in the above statement issued by the former governors and their spouses who were vaccinated Monday at the Capitol.
“These men and women showed their willingness to lead once again by stepping forward, regardless of party, age or geography, to spotlight the safety and the value of this vaccine in ending this nightmare for Kentucky and emerging a better commonwealth,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Thanks to them for demonstrating the importance of this vaccine in saving our fellow Kentuckians and ending this pandemic.”
Eleven legislative leaders, five Republicans, and six Democrats, also received their vaccination on the Capitol Rotunda on Monday.
Gov. Beshear received his vaccination on Dec. 22 along with Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr., Speaker Osborne, and Senate President Stivers, heads of the three branches of Kentucky government, ensuring the continuity of state government during this pandemic and demonstrating broad, bipartisan support for the safe, effective vaccine.
The Monday vaccinations follow the first inoculations in Kentucky on Dec. 14, when the first round of hospitals began receiving and administering 38,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to front-line health care workers. On Dec. 21, long-term care facility residents and staff began receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through Walgreens and CVS, which have an agreement with the federal government.
As of Monday, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered to more than 60,000 Kentuckians, predominantly health care workers. With both vaccines, a second dose is required three to four weeks later. To date, Kentucky has received more than 120,000 doses of vaccine. This week, Kentucky is expected to receive 53,700 additional doses with 27,300 from Pfizer and 26,400 from Moderna.