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“Take It From Me”: KY Health Groups Encourage Residents to Roll up Sleeves


Tuesday, March 30, 2021   

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kentuckians 40 and older are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

As the state continues to ramp up vaccination efforts in rural areas, health advocacy groups have launched a new campaign featuring Kentuckians who've already gotten their shots sharing answers to common questions and concerns.

More than 1.2 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, around 40 % of the state's adult population.

Jason Phillips, a Simpson County resident and "Take It From Me" campaign participant, said his family and friends supported his decision to get vaccinated.

"And I feel like it's sort of my duty to go out and do my part by getting the vaccine," Phillips explained. "And I certainly understand that people could be hesitant or reluctant to do so, but I felt like it was the right thing to do."

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Monday found the coronavirus vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in real-world conditions among groups at higher risk of contracting the virus, including health-care personnel, first responders and other essential workers.

The study found after receiving the second dose of either vaccine, risk of infection was reduced by 90%, two or more weeks after vaccination. With just one dose, the participants' risk of infection was reduced by 80%.

Ben Chandler, CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, said he hopes campaign spokespeople will give those who are vaccine-hesitant a higher level of comfort about getting their shots, particularly in the face of fast-spreading virus variants.

"If we get over 70% of the population vaccinated, the virus will essentially have no place to live, it will die off or suddenly weaken considerably," Chandler pointed out. "If we want our lives to get back to normal as a general matter, we've got to get everybody vaccinated."

The "Take It From Me" campaign is a collaboration of the Kentucky Medical Association, Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Kentucky Hospital Association and the Kentucky Primary Care Association.

Residents can visit or call the state's hotline number at 855-598-2246 for more information on vaccination and to find free or reduced-cost transportation to and from appointments.

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