Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday how the first shipments of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is going to be dispersed throughout Kentucky.

At his briefing, Beshear said he expects the vaccine to be available as soon as Dec. 15. The very first shipment includes about 38,000 vaccinations.

Two-thirds from the shipment will go to long-term care facilities through a program operated by CVS and Walgreens. The remainder will go to hospitals for frontline healthcare workers.

“We're going to make sure that those most vulnerable in long-term care, that make up about 66% of deaths, have first priority, along with our healthcare workers which are in there caring for COVID patients at this time,” Beshear said.

Only 11 Kentucky hospitals will be contained in the first shipment. They include multiple Baptist Health sites, Norton Healthcare, University of Louisville and University of Kentucky.

Sites were put to use based on their ability to handle minimum order of 975 doses, their state COVID-19 provider status and also the availability of ultra-low cold storage required for the Pfizer vaccine.

Beshear said he expects Moderna's vaccine being obtainable in the weeks following Pfizer's first shipment, at which point more sites is going to be selected.

“Even if you're not part of this very first shipment, it's exciting that there is a shipment – a shipment of the vaccine that appears to become about 94% effective,” he said.

Beshear also announced 3,895 new COVID-19 cases in the briefing. It's the second-highest total of the pandemic, and also the highest for any Thursday.

Kentucky also had it's third-highest daily COVID-19 death toll at 34.

“Yesterday was our highest, and also the previous day was our second,” Beshear said. “We've had our three highest days of COVID fatalities all in a row. We've had 118 deaths since Monday alone.”

Hospitalizations also reached a brand new high at 1,810, a rise of 42 from Wednesday. A lot more than 400 Kentuckians have been in the ICU, and 240 are on ventilators.