LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Saying Kentucky hospitals have been “pushed to the brink,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra called on Kentuckians to get vaccinated Tuesday.
What You Need To Know
- HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra is urging Kentuckians to get vaccinated
- He spoke as part of a virtual health policy forum on vaccines
- The two-day event was hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
- According to a poll by the foundation, about 31% of Kentuckians who responded said nothing would motivate them to get the vaccine
"Kentuckians can help us save lives," he said. "Kentuckians can help end this pandemic. What we have to do isn’t rocket science: get vaccinated, take steps like mask wearing indoors and encourage family and friends to do the same."
Becerra, who spoke as part of a virtual health policy forum on vaccines by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, blamed "flat earthers" for worsening the pandemic.
"Because some ‘flat earthers,’ especially those in places of influence, choose to peddle fiction, we’re losing more of our loved ones today than we were a few months ago," Becerra said. "Here in Kentucky, hospitals have been pushed to the brink. One of your large healthcare facilities operates at 130% above capacity due to the influx of COVID patients."
Becerra said HHS has deployed a 15-person team from the National Disaster Medical System to St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead.
According to a poll by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, about 31% of Kentuckians who responded said nothing would motivate them to get the vaccine.
More than 80% said they take vaccine recommendations from their doctors, but only 20% said their healthcare provider had reached out to talk about the shot, the foundation said.
Kentucky Nurses Association CEO Delanor Manson said implicit bias can impact patient outcomes.
"Some of the people that we’re serving say that they don’t trust the healthcare system and so they don’t go to the doctor and so when you engage them in conversation about why they don’t trust the healthcare system, it’s that the healthcare system hasn’t supported them."