VACCINE TEAM | Q&A on wait for loosening restrictions, travel safety

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions.

I’m confused on every side. We have been vaccinated, but we still can’t go see our very sick loved ones in the hospital. We were told get vaccinated and doors will open. Why take the risk of getting vaccinated if there is no benefit?

You’re not alone. It’s been a challenging year for most all of us and being separated from loved one makes it even more challenging.

The good news is more than 37 percent of Kentucky’s population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. But that percentage is far from where the state needs to get to reach a level of herd immunity that would make it difficult for the virus to spread.

Earlier this month, Gov. Andy Beshear said once 2.5 million Kentuckians receive at least their first doses the state would loosen restrictions.

“The question is, how quickly can we get there? With the vaccine supply we have, we could get there in as little as three-and-a-half weeks from now. That minimum time frame might not be realistic, but we should get there in four to six weeks if we are intentional,” Gov. Beshear said when announcing the challenge. “We have to try everything to reach this point as quickly as possible. That will help us have a more normal summer than any of us could have imagined this winter.”

When the goal is met, the governor said he will lift capacity restrictions and physical distancing requirements for nearly all venues, events and businesses that cater to 1,000 or fewer patrons. In addition, he will end the curfew for bars and restaurants.

It’s not clear whether hospitals would be able to change their visitation policies at the same time.

Is it safe to travel if you’ve received the vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, it still recommends that fully vaccinated travelers follow recommendations regarding wearing masks, social distancing and washing their hands often.

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