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Lexington health leaders pushing for more people to sign up for vaccine as eligibility increases

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For the first time, someone under 18 can get vaccinated in Kentucky.

Monday, the state opened up vaccinations to anyone 16 and older, although only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16-18.

Even though the number of people eligible to be vaccinated is going up, demand for the vaccine seems to be dropping.

“We are finding that we do have open appointments more than we have in the past. So I still think there’s some vaccine hesitancy out there,” said Dee Beckman with Baptist Health Lexington.

Beckman said she hopes the number of Kentuckians who have been vaccinated with no issues will encourage others.

“I hope folks remember that these vaccines that are available have been evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials and have met the various standards set by the FDA,” Beckman said.

Clinics offering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine have seen their demand rise. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department filled most of their slots early for the first time in a few weeks.

They also say not all of the concerns they’re hearing are about the side effects.

“But also there are people who have thought ‘this is too hard, this is too difficult.’ They’ve heard stories about they had to wait in line and don’t understand that right now it is much easier than it was six weeks ago to get a vaccine. To get that appointment and get in and out in 15 minutes or so,” said Kevin Hall with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

And it’s those people the city is reaching out to with their Lex Do This! campaign, as we try to move back to something approaching normal.

“I’m hoping that after having a good spring break and a wonderful Easter that folks are even more excited to get back together with families. And hopefully that will encourage them to receive the vaccine,” Hall said.

Beckman said anyone under 18 who gets vaccinated must have a parent with them.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is hosting a pop-up vaccine clinic on Tuesday. You can drive-thru and get a shot at BCTC’s Newtown Pike campus from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

You can sign up for an appointment through the city’s COVID-19 website.

At last check, there were only a few spots left.

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