Kim Richards, PharmD, Pharmacy Director opens a Moderna vaccine shipment.

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky is set to receive a 29% increase in its COVID-19 vaccination supply from the federal government starting next week, Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday.

The latest boost in vaccine shipments means the state's allocation from the federal government will have risen by 57% since President Joe Biden took office in late January, the Democratic governor said. More than 540,000 Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of vaccine, he said.

“This vaccination machine is working," Beshear said at a news conference. "And it can vaccinate a lot more people than we are receiving supply.”

The state expects to get 87,860 doses from the federal government next week, he said.

Meanwhile, the governor reported 1,255 new coronavirus cases statewide, the lowest Tuesday in more than a month and continuing a recent downward trend. But the state reported 27 more virus-related deaths, raising the state's death count to at least 4,318 since the pandemic started.

“We need to keep doing the right things, even with vaccines out there," Beshear said. "We’re still losing far too many people.”

He stresses the importance of mask wearing and social distancing to curb the virus's spread.

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