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Injecting a shot of hope: Governor visits KDMC regional vaccination site

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 Governor Andy Beshear was in Bellefonte last week, stopping by the King’s Daughters Medical Center COVID clinic to review the process and discuss plans to enter eligibility phase 1c of vaccination. This phase opens up vaccinations to adults with certain underlying conditions, regardless of age. Eligible issues and conditions include; asthma, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, disabete, Down syndrome, various heart conditions, hypertension, liver disease, neurologic conditions including dementia, obesity, pregnancy, pulmonary fibrosis, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and any other conditions that contribute to an individual being immunocompromised. 

“You know after a snowstorm, an ice storm, flooding, and a deadly pandemic, what an incredible day the Lord has provided for us today,” Beshear began, indicating the sunny – if windy – weather last Wednesday. 

Beshear said the weather was appropriate to the sense of optimism he felt at seeing the “light at the end of the tunnel” in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has dominated much of his first term in office.

He also praised the work being done at the KDMC regional vaccination clinic, one of 500 regional sites across the commonwealth, which the governor said were, “giving a shot of hope, to Kentuckian after Kentuckian after Kentuckian.” 

“If you’ve been inside any of these facilities, you know it is a moving experience,” Beshear said. “Trying to describe the emotion? Amazing. It’s hope. It’s feeling. It’s excitement. It’s that belief that there is a better world in front of us… I’d never before seen someone cry tears of joy to get a shot.” 

Beshear said that, as of last Wednesday, the state’s 567 total vaccination sites had administered doses to more than “850,000 Kentuckians, and growing.” 

“Just think about that for a moment,” Beshear said. “We are one year and about four or five days from the very first case of COVID-19 in this commonwealth. That one year anniversary was Saturday. I thought a lot about that. I thought a lot about the grief that we’ve been through. Those that we’ve lost. Those that have suffered. But I also felt the hope.” 

“What you’re seeing here today are some of the best partnerships,” Beshear continued. “It’s when state, local, business, non-profits all come together, because, our lives are on the line. When we put everything that may divide us on the shelf and realize everything that bind us is so much more important. That we are more connected than we ever dreamed about, yet we can feel it and we can see it in one another. And what you are seeing right here is the apparatus that helps us win. That makes sure we can vaccinate those more than 2.1 million additional adults we’re going to do in the next two months and two weeks.”

“King’s Daughters is doing one heck of a job in helping us defeat this virus,” the governor added, noting that the organization “already… has administered more than 23,000 COVID vaccine shots.” 

“Let me thank everybody that’s working here,” Beshear said. “You’ve been on the front lines of the most difficult thing we could have ever imagined. We couldn’t imagine what this was going to be, a year ago. But you’ve showed up every day. You’ve seen the hurt. You’ve worried about your own safety. You’ve even held the hands of some of our loved ones as they passed on. We owe you, our healthcare heroes, an eternal debt of gratitude. One that we can never repay… but can thank you for every single day going forward.” 

The King’s Daughters regional COVID vaccination site is located at the old Bellefonte Hospital location, and operates Tuesday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. The hospital also holds local clinics in Grayson and Louisa on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. You can register by calling KDMC at (606)408-2683, or by logging into your KDMC MyChart account. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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