Gov. Andy Beshear announced a temporary pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine Tuesday after the recommendation was made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The recommendation was the result of extremely rare blood clotting conditions having developed in six Americans who received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, out of 6.8 million total Americans who have received it.
“Everyone should still get one of the other two COVID-19 vaccines during this pause. We cannot let this slow us down. The United States is going to get about 1.85 million more doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week. We should be able to make up any loss of appointments,” Beshear said. “Stay calm – it looks like the risk here from the J&J vaccine is very, very small versus the really significantrisk of being harmed by COVID.”
The pause comes just one day after Beshear announced that he will lift capacity restrictions and physical distancing requirements for nearly all venues, events and businesses that cater to 1,000 or fewer patrons once 2.5 million Kentuckians receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday, Beshear also said he will end the curfew for bars and restaurants when the goal is met.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau the population of Kentucky was estimated to be just under 4.5 million people in 2019. Of those 4.5 million people, an estimated 22.4 percent, or 1 million people, were under the age of 18.
As of Monday, Beshear said he estimated 1.6 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose.
“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,” said Beshear. “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.”
The Whitley County Health Department announced four additional COVID–19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the county’s total to 3,692.
There are currently 35 active cases, of which three are hospitalized.
With the new cases, Whitley County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 19.7.
The Laurel County Health Department announced the county’s COVID data for April 5 through April 11 on Monday.
The department reported a total of 88 new cases during that time.
The county’s COVID–19 incidence rate, as of Tuesday, stands at 17.6.
The Knox County Kentucky Health Department announced eight additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county’s total to 3,569.
Two of the new cases involved children, officials stated.
There are currently 74 active cases in Knox County.
With the additional cases, Knox County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 17.4.
The Bell County Health Department announced six additional COVID–19 cases, bringing the county’s total to 3,011.
There are currently 40 active cases, of which two are hospitalized.
With the additional cases, Bell County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 17.6.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced 799 additional COVID–19 cases in Kentucky on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 434,148.
Beshear reported three additional deaths, bringing the death toll to 6,261.
Beshear said 405 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized, of which 96 are in intensive care.
As of Tuesday, ¬seven of Kentucky’s 120 counties have a COVID–19 incidence rate greater than 25, which places them in the red zone.
Fifty-four counties are orange zones.
57 counties are yellow zones.
Ballard and Muhlenberg counties are in the green zone with an incidence rate of less than one.
Harlan County has the highest incidence rate at 39.5.