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Seeking Herd Immunity, City Continues Push For COVID-19 Vaccinations

Boston Globe

Louisville officials are pushing to get more residents vaccinated against COVID-19 before the Fourth of July, joining the federal government in calling June a “National Month of Action.”

The nationwide goal is to get 70% of adults vaccinated, a level many experts have said is necessary to achieve herd immunity. So far, a little more than half of Louisville residents have received at least the first dose of a vaccine. 

But vaccination levels vary starkly based on where people live, with residents in the eastern part of the city much more likely to be vaccinated than elsewhere.

“Vaccination across our community continues to be uneven, with zip codes in the east of the city with over 60% of residents vaccinated and those in the west and southwest around 30%,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, Louisville’s chief health strategist. 

In order to make it easier to get vaccinated, the city is working to expand the number of places where people can do so. Mayor Greg Fischer said there are now more than 100 locations throughout the city.

The YMCA of Greater Louisville is now providing free, drop-in childcare for parents or caregivers with a vaccination appointment. The service will be offered at nine area YMCAs, including Floyd and Clark Counties in Southern Indiana. 

The childcare perk at is also available at the YMCA's downtown and West End sites, which are located in zip codes that have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city.

Jennifer Flower, the organization’s communications director, said free childcare will be available during normal Kids Club hours, which vary by location. 

“The Y is committed to equitable access to the vaccine and childcare should not be a barrier to receiving the vaccine,” Flower said.

More information about the free childcare program can be found online or by calling (502) 587-9622.

COVID-19 Numbers Continue Trending Down

Louisville officials reported nearly early 200 coronavirus cases were recorded last week, the lowest case count since April 2020. The number of people hospitalized because of the virus is also down to levels not seen since last July.

Moyer said the vaccine rollout is responsible for the continued downward trend in new infections and hospitalizations.

“It’s a very optimistic sign that vaccines work,” she said.

With Kentucky lifting all coronavirus restrictions on Friday, Moyer warned residents not to get complacent. She said just because restrictions are gone, that doesn’t mean the virus is.

“This return to full capacity really raises the risk of exposure to those who are not vaccinated yet,” Moyer said. “For [them], I hope that the lift on restrictions and mandate serves as an extra motivation to get vaccinated.”

Moyer urged anyone who has yet to be vaccinated to continue wearing a mask and social distancing. Under the new state guidance, businesses will still be allowed to require masks on their property. 

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL. Email Roberto at rroldan@lpm.org.