FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — July Fourth is 11 days from now. By that date, President Joe Biden hoped to have 70% of American adults vaccinated.
This week, he's acknowledging the US will fall short of that goal. Despite a statewide lottery and other incentives, it appears the state of Kentucky will as well. But some counties have passed that goal, and are looking to vaccinate even more.
"We've held 42 drive-throughs, and 37 off-sites," said Brittany Parker with the Franklin County Health Department.
Brittany Parker says persistence and flexibility have helped drive Franklin County near the top of the state's vaccination rate standings.
Franklin County is currently second with 63.8% of the total population vaccinated. The county leads Fayette, but trails Woodford for first.
That caught the attention of the co-owner of Da Vinci's Pizza in Frankfort.
"What can we do to help put us to number one. So come up with the idea to have a vaccination event, call the folks at the Franklin County Health Department. And they said it was a great idea," said Craig Blanton, the co-owner of Da Vinci's Pizza.
Earlier in June, they hosted a vaccination clinic during a lunch hour. If a person got a shot of the vaccine that day, they received a free pizza.
"Gave out 44 Pepperoni pizzas and worked out pretty well," said Blanton.
Franklin County is still inching toward herd immunity. Of those eligible to take a vaccine, 12 years or older, 73.9% have received at least one dose according to the CDC. For those 65 and older in Fayette County, 99.9% are fully vaccinated.
"A lot of that can be attributed to what is our drive-thru events, where those folks did not have to get out of their cars. They did not have to wait in line anywhere," said Parker.
Overall, Woodford County is leading the state in vaccination rates, but they're third with people over 65 at 94.2%. They're behind Franklin (99.9%) and Fayette (97.2%) Counties. Boone (92.5%) and Scott (92.3%) Counties round out the top five for vaccine rates for people over 65.
There are at least four counties with rates below 50% for their older populations:
- Ballard (49.5%)
- Spencer (40.3%)
- Elliott (39.9%)
The CDC did not have a specific population breakdown for Christian County, but overall only 24% of its total population has had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.