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Local police departments prepare for next phase of vaccine distribution

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 9:10 PM EST
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KENTUCKY. (WKYT) - Doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being shipped across the country.

Kentucky has received more than 107,000 with nearly 29,000 of those administered to frontline healthcare workers and long term care facilities in Phase 1A of distribution.

The next phase includes people 70 and older, K-12 school personnel, and first responders.

“Our officers come in contact with a lot of people every day and a lot of those interactions can’t be six feet apart all the time,” Richmond Asst. Police Chief Rodney Richardson said. “They’re kind of forced into situations where sometimes they have the availability to put on PPE and do what they can before, but there are some emergency situations where they just can’t.”

Richmond and Nicholasville police departments are already preparing to get their officers vaccinated.

“We were contacted by our local health department probably 30 to 45 days ago and said’ hey you guys want to start putting together some kind of list of officers who may or may not want the vaccine’,” Nicholasville Police Sgt. Kevin Grimes said. “So, we know whenever they say ‘hey you’re ready’, that the officers who want the vaccine are going to show up and take it.”

“Of course, we’ve already had some officers that contracted the virus,” Richardson said. “So, I think this is going to help quite a bit, we’re really looking forward to it.”

In Nicholasville, just under half of their department has said they want to take the shot as soon as possible. That number is at about one third in Richmond.

And, like many hospitals, both departments will be scheduling different times for different officers.

“In case officers have any reactions to the virus, we don’t have the whole shift or numerous officers out at the same time,” Richardson said.

While there is hesitation among some officers, for others this vaccine is another weapon in the fight against COVID-19 and in their mission to protect and serve.

“It all goes back to who we deal with in the public and not knowing if somebody has it or not,” Grimes said. “I think it’s been proven you can use as many precautions as you can but it still, nothing is one hundred percent foolproof.”

Health officials have said phase 1A will likely take through January and into February to complete.

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