BESHEAR: Total percent of vaccinated individuals in the area needs to continue increasing

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The average total percent of vaccinated individuals in the area is lower than what the governor had originally hoped it would be at this time.

Now, with the COVID Delta variant spreading in the country, the governor is asking certain individuals to return to wearing masks once again, but no mandate has been set in place.

Vaccination levels in south central Kentucky range from around 28% to 41% of a county’s population and has plateaued with the number of people getting vaccinated daily lower than it was last year.

The states’ vaccination rate is 61%, so locally, we are lower than the state average.

Although, according to the governor, the state has seen a steady increase in cases over the past three weeks with the rate of increase also increasing.

“Some of these are breakthrough cases with people who have been vaccinated and they’re very unlikely to be hospitalized and they’re less likely if they are to end up in the ICU or to have the worst outcome. So I do believe we are going to see a difference in the numbers as they jump from cases to those others that we did in the past but folks it’s entirely avoidable,” Beshear said.

Locally, Melinda Joyce, the executive director of the research foundation for Western Kentucky Heart and Lung and Med Center Health, says its time to get vaccinated if you haven’t yet and says the vaccine has proven safe for the millions who have already had it.

“If you think back to like the second world war things like that people sacrificed so much, you know, they didn’t have sugar, they didn’t have gasoline, they didn’t have meat. There were just so many things that people sacrificed because of what was best for the war effort well you know this is a war effort and you know a small sacrifice of getting that vaccine can make such a difference,” Joyce said.

Joyce says the Delta variant is more contagious and can cause you to get sicker than another variant.

She says if you have a lot of contact with the public, wearing a mask might be a good idea, vaccinated or not.

If you are looking for a vaccine, most local pharmacies and hospitals have the vaccine available. Call ahead appointments are still required at some businesses, while others allow walk ins.