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COVID-19: 16+ Vaccine Eligible on 4/5; 815 New Cases in Ky.; 67 in NKY

Vaccine eligibility in Kentucky will extend to all residents 16 and older starting April 5.

So far, only the COVID-19 vaccine created by Pfizer/BioNtech is approved for 16- and 17-year olds. All other adults would also be eligible for the other two federally-approved COVID-19 vaccines, from Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.

“This is a good day. This news means that we will beat the president’s goal by a month to have COVID-19 vaccinations opened up to everyone,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “We are seeing in a number of states an increase in cases and hospitalizations, and it’s happening among younger people. We want to get ahead of the more aggressive COVID-19 variants and make sure that we fill every available appointment. Make a plan to get your shot of hope.”

The news comes on the same day that the Pfizer vaccine was announced as 100% effective in protecting kids ages 12 and older from symptomatic disease in a study that included more than 2,200 children. 

The researchers who conducted the study said they had no safety concerns about the vaccine for this age group. Last week, Pfizer started testing their vaccine in children ages 6 months to 11 years.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky Department of Corrections is now scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by April 5. There will be enough vaccine doses for all interested inmates housed in state prisons.

COVID-19 vaccinations at all state prisons are expected to be completed next week with the exception of the Kentucky State Penitentiary and Western Kentucky Correctional Complex since those facilities are recovering from COVID-19 outbreaks. COVID-19 vaccines will be administered in those facilities as soon as it is safe to do so.

Johnson & Johnson is a one-shot vaccine, while the Pfizer and Moderna ones are two-shot, scheduled weeks apart.

Meanwhile, the state recorded an additional 815 positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including 67 in five Northern Kentucky counties.

There were 28 new cases in Boone Co., 24 in Kenton Co., 7 each in Campbell and Grant counties, and one in Pendleton Co.

There were 22 COVID-related deaths on Wednesday. None were local.

The state's positivity rate is 2.96%. The above image shows the incidence rate in Northern Kentucky counties, a calculation of the average number of daily positive cases per 100,000 people over seven days.

There are 413 people currently hospitalized across the state including 110 in intensive care units and 48 on ventilators.

-Staff report

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