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'People are still skeptical': State COVID-19 vaccination rate continues to drop

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Posted at 3:38 PM, May 05, 2021

PARIS, Ky. (LEX 18) — The University of Kentucky is winding down its Kroger Field COVID-19 vaccine clinic. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department will soon ditch the mass vaccine clinics at Consolidated Baptist Church in favor of mobile, pop-up neighborhood clinics -- which was always its plan according to an official with the department. CVS is also implementing a walk-in, no-appointment-necessary police, effective immediately.

So the questions beg: Are we closer to having everyone fully vaccinated against the virus? Or have we reached the sector of the population that simply won’t receive this vaccine?

“I think it’s a combination of both,” said pharmacist Drew Brewer who owns Bourbontown Pharmacy of Paris. “I think it’s good news that a lot of people who want the vaccine are being taken care of. But we might’ve reached that limit of people not wanting to get the vaccine."

Brewer said his pharmacy, like CVS, is accepting walk-in clients seeking the vaccine.

“We have availability every day now, so anyone who wants to talk in, we’ll take care of them,” he said of his stock of both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Brewer was busy at work filling syringes for a vaccine clinic he’d be working on later that day for a local business in Bourbon County. He had 16 appointments lined up, but because each vial contains 10 doses, he could end up tossing four in the trash. That too, he says, has been an issue and it pains him to have to throw away vaccines.

Right now Kentucky has recorded at least one vaccine dose for 1.8 million of its 4.5 million people. (Children ages 12-15 should help give that number a boost once Pfizer’s vaccine is approved for that group, which is expected to happen within the next week.)

But most believe it might be a better situation for Kentucky and the nation to still have a little more competition for this vaccine, as we’re still early in the process.

“I think a lot of people are still skeptical,” Brewer said. “We’ve had people who were completely skeptical about the vaccine, then got COVID and their whole attitude changed about it."

In Kentucky, even more people will need to change, as Gov. Andy Beshear has said he wants us to reach 2.5 million people vaccinated before reopening the state in full.

“Really trying to make sure everyone is fully educated on it, so we can get to that remaining population,” Brewer explained.