Health leaders concerned by low vaccine numbers in southern Ky. counties

Kentucky
Several central Kentucky counties have nearly half of their populations fully vaccinated. Franklin and Woodford counties are just under 50%, followed by Fayette County.

Several central Kentucky counties have nearly half of their populations fully vaccinated. Franklin and Woodford counties are just under 50%, followed by Fayette County.

ROCKCASTLE COUNTY, Ky. (WDKY) – Several central Kentucky counties have nearly half of their populations fully vaccinated. Franklin and Woodford counties are just under 50%, followed by Fayette County.

But other counties are falling behind. A number of them don’t have a quarter of their population fully vaccinated, and several are in southern Kentucky.

Health officials in Rockcastle County say they know where most of their cases are occurring.

“There are a couple of cases that we don’t have currently linked to a particular gathering but the majority of the active cases that we’ve had over the last two weeks have been a result of a specific gathering, a specific community and then the secondary cases associated with that,” said Christie Green with the Cumberland Valley District Health Department.

Green says those numbers aren’t the only ones that concern her. In the three counties they cover— Rockcastle, Jackson, and Clay— the average percentage of the population that’s been vaccinated is just below 23 percent.

This map highlights the counties with the highest percentage of vaccinated people. All of them in dark blue are above 37%. As you can see, a lot of southern Kentucky has yet to get there.

There have been attempts to reach the people in that area, even by the federal government. FEMA set up a clinic in Laurel County, and told us they hoped to vaccinate thousands of people.

“We are in our fourth week now and we have seen almost 800 people,” said Nate Custer with FEMA.

They are wrapping that clinic up on June 5. Green said they’ve had some success once they’re able to talk to people one on one, answering their questions about the vaccine.

“In fairness to the general population sometimes I think we that work in healthcare take for granted the amount of information we can avail ourselves of,” Green said.

But she also said in the counties they cover only about half of the people 65 and older have been vaccinated, far less than the statewide average.

“I have a real concern that ultimately that may lead to more hospitalizations and deaths that at this point in the game could have potentially been prevented,” Green said.

Green wants people to know the Cumberland Valley District Health Department is offering rides to vaccine locations for people who don’t have transportation.

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