Ky. Covid-19 metrics continue to drop, including vaccinations

Chart by The Washington Post, adapted by Kentucky Health News; click on it to enlarge.

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

As cases of the coronavirus continue to wane in Kentucky and the positive-test rate keeps dropping, so have the number of vaccinations given.

In the last seven days in Kentucky, 16% fewer vaccine doses were given than the previous seven, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data processed by The Washington Post.

The seven-day average of 12,953 doses per day would have been considerably smaller if not for the 27,197 doses reported today, one of the state’s higher daily totals of the last four months.

The Post reports that Kentucky has administered at least one dose of a vaccine to 2.75 million people, covering 72.5% of the eligible population, 12 and older. At least 2.39 million Kentuckians are fully vaccinated.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is scheduled this week to consider Moderna‘s request that a half-dose of its vaccine be approved as a booster, to be given at least six months after the second dose. The panel will also consider a Johnson & Johnson booster, CNN reports.

The FDA has already authorized boosters of Pfizer‘s vaccine for some adults, including individuals 65 and older; those living in long-term care facilities; people 19-64 with a medical condition that increases their risk of coronavirus infection; and people 18-64 who are likely to get exposed at their place of work.

A third shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is available and recommended at least 28 days after the second shot for people who are immunocompromised. There are no booster recommendations yet for those who have received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Daily numbers: Kentucky reported 2,358 new cases of the virus Tuesday, lowering the seven-day rolling average by 32, to 2,054. That makes the vaccination rate 6.3 times the new-case rate; last week it was 7 times higher.

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the coronavirus in the last seven days dropped again, to 8.12%.

Hospital numbers also dropped again. Kentucky hospitals reported 1,329 Covid-19 patients, down 70 from Monday; 398 of them in intensive care, down 20; and 262 on mechanical ventilation, down 4.

However, eight of the state’s 10 hospital regions reported using at least 80% of their intensive-care beds, with two of them at 100%: Northern Kentucky and Lake Cumberland.

Kentucky’s seven-day infection rate remains ninth among the states, according to The New York Times‘ analysis of CDC data, showing a 34% drop in the last 14 days.

The state reports its rate to be 38.52 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. Counties with rates more than double that rate are Mercer, 90.5; Pendleton, 83.2; Whitley, 81.9; Harlan, 80.7; Meade, 80.0;  and Russell, 78.1.

The state reported 34 more Covid-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 9,184.

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