Pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions in Kentucky reach record high

The record pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions have Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and his team...
The record pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions have Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and his team sending warnings across the Commonwealth about vaccines.
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 4:15 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday that COVID-19 cases in Kentucky children have increased more than 400% in the last month, from 133 on July 16 to 548 on Aug. 16. In addition, Kentucky had 17 pediatric admissions for COVID-19, the state’s highest ever total.

The record pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions have the governor and his team sending warnings across the Commonwealth about vaccine misinformation.

“Lies about these vaccines are killing people,” Dr. Steven Stack, the commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said.

The overwhelming majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the state were among partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people.

Overall, Stack said several hospitals across the state have already started canceling and postponing non-urgent, but important, surgeries and other procedures that would require admission to the hospital for overnight stays. The larger receiving hospitals in Kentucky are receiving calls from Louisiana and Alabama hospitals needing ICU beds for patients to transfer. Stack said Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Louisiana officials have reported that there are no beds available.

Beshear said that nearly all Kentucky hospitals are full.

“What you see is exponential growth and a number of Kentuckians in the hospital with COVID meaning they are really, really sick,” Beshear said. “Hospitalizations have been doubling every two weeks, something we have never seen before. At the end of this week, we expect to have more Kentuckians in the hospital battling COVID than any point of this pandemic. These are your friends, neighbors, your loved ones, people you have fought for all the way up to now. We need everyone to continue to do the right thing.”

There is also an uptick in vaccinations in Kentucky. Beshear and Stack said more than 2.4 million people have received at least one vaccine dose.

Stack also 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.

Stack said Kentuckians with the following conditions should consider receiving a third dose:

•          Active or recent cancer/malignancy treatment

•          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

•          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,” Stack said. “People with normal immune systems are not advised to receive an additional dose at this time. Anyone with questions about their eligibility should talk with their health care provider.”

It is not recommended that individuals who have already received a Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine receive another dose at this time.

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