Local health departments to receive small allotments of COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 10:18 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky is ramping up the vaccine rollout and recruiting local health departments and new regional sites to get shots into arms.

The vaccine allotments to county health departments won’t be large, but local agencies will take anything they can get.

“We’re building the plane as we fly it,” Gov. Andy Beshear said.

That plane’s destination is a world without COVID-19. The Beshear administration announced new initiatives Thursday to get vaccines to local health departments across Kentucky.

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“We are going to give 100 doses for one percent of the population for every county, rounded up to a minimum of 100,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said.

Starting Monday every local health department in Kentucky will get small shipments of the vaccine for the next three weeks, giving thousands of Kentuckians much closer access to the shot.

“I’ll just tell you the quantities are insufficient. The vaccine quantities are not enough for the task at hand but it is still incremental progress,” Dr. Stack said.

Even if it is just a little bit, local agencies are thrilled to get what they’re receiving.

“When we got the news from the governor and Dr. Stack that we had vaccines coming three weeks in a row it was pretty exciting,” said Tim Wright, the public health director in Anderson County.

For rural counties like Anderson, even a small allotment can make a huge difference.

“We started a waiting list for 70 and over individuals and we have over 1,000 names on that list,” Wright said.

In Lexington, health officials are using these doses to vaccinate those who have restrictions and aren’t able to get to larger distribution sites.

“These are much needed doses for people in phase 1b, 70 and above. Our focus is on people who have limitations with transportation, mobility, or technology and keeping them from getting to these other sites,” Kevin Hall with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department said.

The federal government is also sending roughly 13,000 doses to the commonwealth through the Federal Pharmacy Program. These will go to 80-100 Walgreens stores and 45 to 50 independent pharmacies operating under Good Neighbor.

“We think there will be about 100 doses per pharmacy and they will be much closer into your community,” Dr. Stack said.

Dr. Stack says the Federal Pharmacy Program should be ready to go starting next Thursday.

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