FRANKFORT, Ky. — Today, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order that qualifies every person 18 years old or older and living or working in the commonwealth to get a COVID-19 vaccination booster six months after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, or two months after a single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Beshear said Kentucky was seeing declines in COVID-19 case numbers and the test positivity rate for many weeks, but recently those numbers have begun to plateau or even slightly increase.
“We are moving into the amazing holiday season with Thanksgiving, Christmas and other gatherings, which unfortunately are especially risky for COVID-19 being able to spread,” said Beshear. “Because of that, it’s more important than ever that we get people vaccinated and get people their boosters to push their immunity up to the highest levels, because over time that immunity wanes.”
Beshear noted that cases are spiking again across Europe, which increases his concern for the trajectory in Kentucky’s case numbers without increased vaccinations and boosters. Until today, based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, Moderna and Pfizer booster shots have been limited to Kentuckians who are over 65, have significant underlying conditions or are exposed to many people through their work.
“Folks, you really need to get vaccinated and get this booster, and now it should be fairly easy. It’s going to make you much safer over the next several months,” said Beshear.
As of Wed., Nov. 17, more than 437,000 Kentuckians had received a booster.
At least five other states so far have taken similar steps to expand eligibility including, Arkansas, California, Colorado, New Mexico and West Virginia. According to reports, the Food and Drug Administration could authorize booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for all adults as early as this week.