'We can see the light at the end of the tunnel': First shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Kentucky

Posted at 11:48 AM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 15:24:45-05

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — It's a big day for Kentucky as the commonwealth received its first shipment of Pfizer's COVID-9 vaccines.

UPS driver Byron Bishop rolled into the UofL hospital with Kentucky's first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations.

State leaders watched as five front-line workers received their vaccinations in Louisville. UofL Hospital, Baptist Health Lexington, and the Medical Center at Bowling Green each received 975 doses Monday and began their vaccination plans.

"Today is a historic day in the commonwealth – we are at the beginning of the end of our war with COVID-19," said Governor Andy Beshear, who was at UofL Hospital as UPS delivered the vaccines. "The Pfizer vaccine, which we believe to be 95% effective, is the defense we have needed to end this pandemic, and with the highly effective Moderna vaccine likely on its way to approval soon, we are all filled with hope for the first time in a very long time. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. To our front-line workers: we are forever grateful for your bravery, talents and compassion."

Gov. Beshear says his vaccine will come shortly. He's not doing it, he said, to jump the line, but to lead by example for anyone who doubts the vaccine's safety. The governor assured everyone Monday is the "beginning of the end."

"Let us celebrate that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Gov. Beshear. "The end is coming closer and closer, and we will defeat this pandemic in 2021."

The first long-term care vaccinations will begin on December 21. Gov. Beshear says Kentucky may be one of the first states in the country to treat those in long-term care facilities.

The governor urged people to stay vigilant over the next couple of months as the vaccine slowly rolls out to the general public.

"There's still going to be tough days and tough months ahead, and just because we have a vaccine doesn't mean people can let their guard down," he said. "We see victory; we must protect our people until we get there."