Five Former Kentucky Governors of Both Parties Receive COVID Vaccine

Editor’s Note: Photos are available at the link below. (Photo credit: Governor’s Communications Office)

Spouses join governors to highlight bipartisan support for safe, effective vaccine

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 4, 2021) – Five former Governors and their spouses, spanning five decades of service to the commonwealth, received the COVID-19 vaccination Monday in the Capitol Rotunda to emphasize the bipartisan support for the safe and effective vaccines and urge fellow Kentuckians to take the vaccine.

Those who received the Moderna vaccine Monday include Julian Carroll, John Y. Brown Jr., Martha Layne Collins and Bill Collins, Ernie and Glenna Fletcher and Steve and Jane Beshear.

Jointly they said: “We all look forward to the day we can get back out into the Kentucky communities we love so much and gather with our friends and family, but until then, we urge our fellow Kentuckians to wear masks, limit their gatherings and take the vaccine. This vaccine is a medical miracle – the shot of hope Kentuckians and Americans have been looking forward to for almost a year to save lives, reduce the spread of this deadly virus, allow more of our neighbors to return to work and ensure our children and educators can safely return to school. This vaccine is safe, effective and our best hope of defeating COVID. We urge all Kentuckians to roll up their sleeves, take the fight to COVID and do their part to move the commonwealth forward.”

Former Gov. Paul Patton, who went on to serve as president and then chancellor of the University of Pikeville, and his wife, Judi, are receiving the vaccine locally in Pikeville. Former Gov. Brereton Jones and his wife, Libby, were unable to attend Monday, but support the vaccines and will receive them as soon as possible. All four join in the above statement issued by the former governors and their spouses who were vaccinated Monday at the Capitol.

“These men and women showed their willingness to lead once again by stepping forward, regardless of party, age or geography, to spotlight the safety and the value of this vaccine in ending this nightmare for Kentucky and emerging a better commonwealth,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Thanks to them for demonstrating the importance of this vaccine in saving our fellow Kentuckians and ending this pandemic.”

Former Govs. Steve Beshear and Ernie Fletcher, once political opponents, are collaborating to urge Kentuckians to set aside partisanship and political differences to work together and defeat COVID-19.

“Right now is the time to set aside political differences and come together to defeat COVID-19,” the Governors said.

Eleven legislative leaders, five Republicans and six Democrats, also received their vaccination on the Capitol Rotunda on Monday. Read the full release here.

Gov. Beshear received his vaccination Dec. 22 along with Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr., Speaker Osborne and Senate President Stivers, heads of the three branches of Kentucky government, ensuring the continuity of state government during this pandemic and demonstrating broad, bipartisan support for the safe, effective vaccine.

Top federal and state health leaders, including U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield, have encouraged governors and other public officials to publicly receive the vaccination to emphasize the safety of the vaccine and to build confidence and public support.

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, urged state leaders to receive the vaccination for the continuity of state government and to demonstrate to Kentuckians that the vaccine is safe and effective.

Four members of the Kentucky Supreme Court, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, Secretary of State Michael Adams, Auditor Mike Harmon, Chief Judge Denise G. Clayton of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Dr. Stack, acting Kentucky State Police Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. and Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett have received the first dose of the vaccine. First Lady Britainy Beshear, J. Michael Brown, the highest appointed official in Kentucky as secretary of the executive cabinet, Gov. Beshear’s chief of staff, La Tasha Buckner, and his senior advisor, Rocky Adkins, also have been vaccinated.

Gov. Beshear encouraged other community leaders including those in elected office, business executives and faith leaders, to take the vaccine when it is their turn. Meanwhile, until more people are vaccinated, the Governor said Kentuckians must continue to take precautions to slow the spread and save more Kentuckians from COVID, which has already killed more than 2,700 people in the commonwealth alone. People must continue to wear masks, social distance and avoid gatherings.

The Monday vaccinations follow the first inoculations in Kentucky on Dec. 14, when the first round of hospitals began receiving and administering 38,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to front-line health care workers. On Dec. 21, long-term care facility residents and staff began receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through Walgreens and CVS, which have an agreement with the federal government.

As of today, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered to more than 60,000 Kentuckians, predominantly health care workers. With both vaccines, a second dose is required three to four weeks later. To date, Kentucky has received more than 120,000 doses of vaccine. This week, Kentucky is expected to receive 53,700 additional doses with 27,300 from Pfizer and 26,400 from Moderna.

Former governors who have been vaccinated:

  • Julian Carroll, 1974 – 1979
  • John Y. Brown Jr., 1979 – 1983
  • Martha Layne Collins, 1983 – 1987
  • Paul E. Patton, 1995 – 2003
  • Ernie Fletcher, 2003 – 2007
  • Steven L. Beshear, 2007 – 2015

Photos of today’s vaccinations can be found here.