Gov. Beshear, Dr. Stack: Third Dose of Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Recommended for Immunocompromised Kentuckians
Pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions in Kentucky reach record high
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2021) – On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced record pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions, and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, announced that a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for immunocompromised Kentuckians at least 28 days after a second dose.
“COVID-19 isn’t just hitting adults. With the delta variant, your kids are at a greater risk than they have been before,” said Gov. Beshear. “In a Southern Indiana school district, 750 students are already in quarantine. Do the right thing: Get vaccinated, mask up in schools and in high-risk indoor settings. Protect our kids.”
Dr. Stack said Kentuckians with the following conditions should consider receiving a third dose:
- Active or recent treatment for cancer/malignancy;
- Solid-organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplants;
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection; and
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers and other immunosuppressive medications.
“This is for individuals who may not have received adequate protection from their initial primary vaccine series. People with normal immune systems are not advised to receive an additional dose at this time,” said Dr. Stack. “Anyone with questions about their eligibility should talk with their health care provider.”
Individuals who have received a Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine are not recommended to receive an additional dose at this time. Third doses can be received by any COVID-19 vaccine provider that stocks the same mRNA vaccine that was used for an individual’s primary series (Pfizer or Moderna).
Kentucky’s Pediatric COVID-19 Admissions Up by More Than 400% in One Month
COVID-19 cases in Kentucky children have increased more than 400% in the last month, from 133 July 16 to 548 Aug. 16.
In addition, as of Aug. 16, Kentucky had 17 pediatric admissions for COVID-19, the state’s highest ever total. The previous highest number was 12 admissions in December 2020.
The United States is reporting record COVID-19 hospitalizations in children. Alabama has reported it only has two ICU beds still available. Mississippi public health officials confirmed another child has died from COVID-19 complications, the state’s fifth pediatric death since March 2020.
Physicians and nurses from Lake Cumberland Hospital shared a video message encouraging Kentuckians to get vaccinated. Joseph Weigel, MD, MACP and director of medical student education at Lake Cumberland Hospital said: “We’ve done so much already to protect ourselves and each other from COVID-19. Your health means everything. Get vaccinated today.”
In a separate video message, William Haugh, chief executive officer of Georgetown Community Hospital and market president of Lifepoint Health Central Kentucky, said: “We are seeing an increase of COVID-19 patients across our hospitals as the delta variant continues to spread. We need to band together to protect our families and friends and neighbors. One of the best things you can do to combat COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. We know these vaccines work. We know they are safe. We know that a majority of the people coming through our doors with COVID-19 are not vaccinated. I encourage you to be brave. Trust the science and help our community.”