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Beshear marks significance of COVID-19 vaccine arrival in Kentucky, previews distribution plan

The governor said Kentucky is expected to receive exactly 12,675 vaccine vials that will soon make their way to 11 regional hospitals across the state.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear spoke on the arrival of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arriving at the UPS Worldport and previewed the Commonwealth's distribution plan. 

A plane carrying the vaccine landed in Louisville shortly after Noon Sunday. 

“The Pfizer vaccine, which we believe to be 95% effective, has now been authorized in this emergency for us to start vaccinating individuals,” said Beshear. “The vaccine started to be shipped from the factory and a significant portion landed in Kentucky today. Kentucky is going to play a major role in getting this vaccine to people all over the eastern United States through UPS’ Worldport. We in the commonwealth are excited to be a big part of defeating this virus all over this country. We now believe that the first individuals will be vaccinated here in the commonwealth tomorrow morning. We are less than 24 hours away from the beginning of the end of this virus.”

The Governor said those most at risk will get the vaccine first.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will be expedited to select locations across the United States in the coming days.

As shipments continue, Kentucky is expected to receive exactly 12,675 vaccine vials that will soon make their way to 11 regional hospitals in Louisville, Paducah, Bowling Green, Madisonville, Pikeville, Corbin, Lexington and Edgewood, according to the release from Beshear's office. 

An additional 25,350 are being delivered to CVS and Walgreens, destined for long-term care facilities.

RELATED: Louisville hospitals detail COVID-19 vaccine plans ahead of FDA approval

Beshear's office says the immediate goal is reducing COVID-19 deaths. With 66% of the deaths coming from long-term care facilities, vaccines could help significantly decrease Kentucky’s COVID-19 death toll beginning in January. 

Also, because long-term care residents tend to require the most care, vaccinations in these facilities will help reduce COVID-19’s burden on Kentucky’s health care system.

“Our community doctors and nurses, as well as long-term care residents and staff, are preparing to do their part first,” the Governor said. “We will all get a turn. When it is your turn, I strongly encourage you to get vaccinated so you can do your part to protect yourself, your family and our entire state.”

Kentucky has confirmed 220,660 positive cases since tracking began in March.

Local health departments have also been working closely with the Governor and Dr. Steven Stack to prepare for these distributions, the release says.

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