December marks one year since vaccines arrived in Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It was one year ago this month that the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Baptist Health Hospitals. About 2.4 million Kentuckians are fully vaccinated, but doctors said that’s not enough. A doctor said getting vaccinated is still the best protection against the virus.
“They work incredibly well against preventing severe disease,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Mark Dougherty.
Since then, the hospital has delivered more than 40,000 COVID vaccine doses.
While Baptist Health doctors acknowledge a lot has changed in the past year, they say there is still work to do.
“We only have 61% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated and only 53% of the population in Kentucky vaccinated, which is just not enough against this vicious virus,” Dr. Dougherty said.
With COVID cases rising, health officials are worried about a potential spike following the holidays. The omicron variant is also spreading. Its severity is still unclear, but earlier data shows the variant may be resistant to current COVID vaccines.
“There are some modeling predictions that we may end up with a million cases a day here of omicron,” Dr. Dougherty said.
Dr. Dougherty caught COVID from a patient last year and was the first in Lexington to receive monoclonal antibody treatment. Dougherty says he got vaccinated to protect those around him. He’s encouraging others to do the same.
“You really don’t want to be dealing with what I’m seeing in the ICU and be sick yourself or have your loved ones pass away and suffer,” Dr. Dougherty said.
With COVID cases going up, and the omicron variant circulating, doctors say if you have not been vaccinated you are likely to catch the virus.
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