Kentucky opening vaccinations to everyone 40 and older on Monday

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 11:24 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Starting Monday, March 29, Kentucky is opening vaccine eligibility to anyone 40 and older.

It’s part of the state’s effort to have the shot available to anyone who wants one.

That includes the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. The LFCHD decided to lower the age limit on Monday in order to fill more than 500 appointments that were still available.

Spokesperson Kevin Hall says the department receives about 800 vaccines a week but noted that other sites, like Kentucky Horse Park and Kroger Field, administer thousands of shots each day.

City officials say more than 100,000 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine in Lexington. The LFCHD has vaccinated nearly 12,000 people.

On Monday, vaccination sites statewide will open up for people 40 and older. People with a body mass index above 25 are also eligible.

“If you pull the numbers and the data, it was over 175,000 Lexington residents that fit into that category alone,” said Christina King, LFCHD. “So, we decided to go ahead and make that jump and open it up to everyone 18 and over.”

Local church leaders have also tried to encourage minority communities to get vaccinated. Last week, Governor Andy Beshear slated April 12 as the day that anyone 16 or older will have access to a vaccine.

“We’re trying to thread this needle just right, and to make sure that we don’t open to everybody too quickly, and thus frustrate folks, but also continue the demand,” Gov. Beshear.

Although COVID-19 numbers are decreasing, officials warn the virus is still a threat.

“Yeah, this vaccine is wonderful, it’s hopeful, but we want to remind you that, until everyone gets vaccinated, we still need to maintain that guidance from the CDC,” King said.

With vaccine supply ramping up, health officials are encouraging people to go ahead and sign up. They say it’s important that no vaccine goes to waste. The health department also plans to expand its vaccine hours to get more people through the door.

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