Erin Kelly produced the video portion of this story.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — One million Kentuckians have now been vaccinated.
Gov. Andy Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear and Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack recognized the milestone during a ceremony at the state Capitol on Monday.
"This is truly both a miracle of modern medicine and tribute to so many Kentuckians whose tireless work made this possible," Beshear said. "This milestone brings us hope after losing nearly 5,000 of our beloved family members, friends and neighbors to COVID-19. Think about how far we have come in our ability to fight this virus, and how fast."
The first COVID-19 vaccines that arrived in Kentucky were administered to health care workers on Dec. 14, a turning point in a pandemic that at the time had claimed the lives of over 2,000 in the Commonwealth.
The initial vaccines were administered to five front-line healthcare workers at the University of Louisville Hospital. Dr. Jason Smith, chief medical officer at UofL Health, was the first Kentuckian to receive the vaccine.
Days before the first Kentuckians were vaccinated, the state reported more than 3,500 new daily COVID-19 cases and a positivity rate close to 9%, officials said in a press release.
Today, the state's positivity rate is below 4% and Beshear reported just 445 new cases on Sunday, Kentucky officials said.
Kentucky has also seen nine straight weeks of declining COVID-19 cases with Sunday's report.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman is in Graves County and Paducah visiting some of the state's 567 vaccination sites that are distributing doses of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines to Kentuckians.
Each additional vaccination site moves the state closer to its goal that no Kentuckian will have to travel more than one county away from home to be vaccinated, officials said in a press release.