Some Kentucky counties still have very low vaccination numbers

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 4:29 PM EDT
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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Some parts of Kentucky are still seeing very low vaccination numbers.

The CDC reports that some counties, such as Laurel, have less than 30 percent of their population vaccinated.

Health leaders say it could be COVID fatigue, or still, fear of the vaccine.

Dalton Gilbert says safety is why he’s getting his COVID-19 vaccine now.

“I think it’s a lot safer,” Gilbert said. “I will still wear a mask while I am out. It’s a lot softer to have the vaccine.”

Nurses at the health department say they’ve noticed a small spike in vaccinations since the CDC announced vaccinated people could go maskless in most situations.

“We anticipate that may encourage people to get vaccinated. For those that have not been vaccinated,” said Mark Hensley, Laurel Co. Health Department.

Only 27 percent of Laurel County residents are fully vaccinated, but the majority of the vaccinated are in the older population.

“Right at 60 percent of all folks over 65 have been vaccinated,” Hensley said.

But numbers could increase with younger people. 12 to 15-year-olds are now able to get the shot and the health department will partner with the school system to offer Pfizer vaccines for the first time.

Health leaders say more young people could lead to a higher percentage of vaccinated people.

“Our kids from 12 to 18, they want to get back to normal,” Hensley said. “They want to be in school, they want to be a part of school activities.”

In addition to the Pfizer vaccine, the health department will also have the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines to offer people.

Other counties seeing a low percentage of vaccinated people include Rockcastle, Wayne, Casey, and Jackson counties.

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