“One of the things that’s gotten us here is we’ve been measured” and have eased into and out of restrictions, Beshear said. “We have adjusted based on what’s going on with the virus, listening to the best science available. And so that’s what we are going to continue to do.”
|Dept. for Public Health graph shows shots by age group.|
Vaccine report: Beshear said 1,855,111 Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a vaccine, a number that also includes Kentuckians who have been vaccinated out of state. He said that amounts to 52% of Kentuckians 16 and older who have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and gave an age-group report (graph at right).
- Counties with 10 or more new cases were Jefferson, 127; Fayette, 52; Boone, 26; Daviess, 23; Warren, 21; Kenton, 20; Montgomery, 17; Clark, 14; Shelby, 13; McCracken, 12; Scott, 12; Madison, Rockcastle and Pulaski, 11; and Boyd and Laurel, 10.
- Kentucky hospitals reported 408 Covid-19 patients, 12 fewer than Wednesday; 113 of them, 2 more, were in intensive care; and 49 of those, up 3, were on a ventilator. The Lake Cumberland hospital-readiness region was the only one of 10 using more than 80% of its intensive-care beds, at 84%.
- The national infection rate hit a seven-month low, but new vaccinations are down 25% from last week, CBS News reported.
- A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll taken April 15-29 found that 9% of unvaccinated adults said the pause made them less likely to want the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Seven percent said it made them less likely to want any of the vaccines. And 4% said it changed their thoughts about the vaccines in some other way.
- The KFF poll also found that the share of Republicans who say they will “definitely not” get vaccinated decreased from 29% in March to 20% in April, but remains substantially larger than the share among Democrats (4%) or independents (13%). It also found that 55% of Republicans say they have received a vaccine or will as soon as possible, up from 46% in March.
- A single dose of Moderna’s original Covid-19 vaccine and a booster shot that targets key virus variants both show promising signals that they can protect previously vaccinated people against problematic strains, the company announced Wednesday, Politico reports. In a trial that began in March, volunteers were given either a booster shot of the original formula or a modified vaccine aimed at the South Africa and the Brazil variants, which are less susceptible to the existing vaccines. The study found that a booster dose of the variant-targeting formula was more effective than a booster of the original vaccine, but both raised antibody levels, Moderna said in a press release. The research is not yet peer-reviewed.
- A Politico Pro article reports that state and federal officials fear low vaccination rates throughout the South and parts of the mountainous West will prolong the pandemic and increase the risk of a new strain developing that can sicken vaccinated people. The authors write that several states have struggled to vaccinate even one-third of their populations. In Tennessee, 34% of its population have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 24.5% have been fully vaccinated, according to its Covid-19 State Profile Report.
- “With herd immunity against Covid-19 now looking harder to reach, [Sen. Mitch] McConnell reiterated his support for the vaccines — while stopping short of calling out fellow Republicans for fueling skepticism about the shots,” Josh James reports for WUKY. “Acknowledging the slowdown in vaccination rates and the increasingly complicated task of convincing opponents to agree to the shot, McConnell had a football analogy.” He said, “This last 20 yards, it looks to me, are going to be kind of difficult,” he said, partly because a recent Gallup poll found a fourth of Americans still resistant to the vaccination. “Asked whether he lays any blame at the feet of fellow GOP lawmakers who have sown mistrust about the vaccines, McConnell stuck to his own message.” He said, “I can only speak for myself. I’m a big proponent of wearing masks, getting vaccinated, and I’ve tried, at least for myself, to say the things that I think the American people need to hear.”
- Based on four different scenarios of vaccination rates and state re-openings, the CDC is projecting a surge in Covid-19 cases that will peak in May before sharply declining by July, as more people get vaccinated, CNBC reports. Hospitalizations and deaths from the virus are expected to remain low.
- Kentucky received a $21.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help newly injured and ill employees to return to work, including those who have dealt with the enduring implications of Covid-19 on their physical and mental health and are working to get back into the workforce. The Retaining Employment and Talent after injury/illness Network (RETAIN) program is expected to reach over 3,000 employees. Kentucky is one of five states to receive this a grant for the program’s second phase. Go to kyretain.org or follow on Twitter @KYRETAIN to learn more.