FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — More state leaders received the vaccination against COVID-19 on Wednesday, including Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, Chief Judge Denise G. Clayton of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, acting Kentucky State Police Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. and Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett.
Other state leaders who received the vaccine on Wednesday included Gov. Andy Beshear’s chief of staff, La Tasha Buckner, and his senior advisor, Rocky Adkins, and Virginia Moore, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Their vaccinations follow the first vaccinations in Kentucky on Dec. 14, when the first round of hospitals began receiving and administering 38,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to front-line health care workers.
On Monday, 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. This week, about 80 regional hospitals and more than 90 local health departments are receiving over 70,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to inoculate more health care workers.
“These vaccines are safe, they’re effective, and they will save the lives of thousands of Kentuckians and help us end this long nightmare,” said Gov. Beshear. “By the end of this month, we are expecting more than 200,000 doses of vaccines that will slow the spread of COVID and protect our health care heroes, our veterans and residents and workers at long-term care facilities.”
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommended during a call Monday with governors that all governors be vaccinated in public as soon as possible to build confidence in the vaccines. Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, urged state leaders to receive the vaccination for the continuity of state government and to demonstrate to Kentuckians that the vaccine is safe and effective.
“Today, I proudly took the vaccine that is ending our fight against COVID-19. Thank you to the countless scientists, physicians and logistics experts who made this possible. You are heroes, and Team Kentucky extends our deepest thanks,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “As more vaccines are currently being distributed to front-line health workers and those most at risk, let us continue the work to build a better Kentucky for everyone.”
Gov. Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear, Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr., House Speaker David Osborne, Senate President Robert Stivers, Dr. Stack and J. Michael Brown, the highest appointed official in Kentucky as secretary of the executive cabinet, also received the initial dose of the vaccination against COVID-19 on Tuesday.
With the Tuesday vaccination, the heads of the three branches of Kentucky government each received their initial dose of the Moderna vaccine ensuring the continuity of state government during this pandemic and demonstrating broad, bipartisan support for the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccination.
As of today, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered to more than 8,800 Kentuckians, predominantly health care workers. With both vaccines, a second dose is required about three weeks later. Gov. Beshear said Kentucky is expecting more than 202,000 doses of vaccine before the end of the month with the second dose coming for each about three to four weeks later.