VACCINE TEAM | Q&A on immunity, new pharmacy program, phase 1C

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 5:41 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions on the vaccine, how to get one, and much more.

If a person contracts COVID-19 and recovers, are they immune again from the disease? I was told they didn’t need to wear mask.

The Centers for Disease Control says a person’s “natural immunity” from having the virus can vary from person to person. Because COVID-19 is still a relatively new, it’s also not known how long that “natural immunity” might last.

The CDC also makes these points:

  • Ongoing COVID-19 studies will help establish the frequency and severity of reinfection and who might be at higher risk for reinfection.
  • At this time, whether you have had COVID-19 or not, the best ways to prevent infection are to wear a mask in public places, stay at least 6 feet away from other people, frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoid crowds and confined spaces.

I have a friend who is 77 years old. Because of her health issues it is difficult for her to move around, will there be any “drive through” facilities in Madison County?

It’s not clear on when drive through vaccinations will become a widespread option.

But efforts from the federal and state governments aim to increase the availability of vaccine in more communities making it potentially easier to get the vaccine because it’s available closer to home.

For the next three weeks, local health departments in the state will receive vaccine from the state based on their county’s population. While that’s a step, the state warns don’t expect to see everyone wanting the shot to be able to get one.

“The quantities are insufficient. The vaccine quantities, overall, are not enough for the task, but this is still incremental progress,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said.

Beginning next week, Kentucky pharmacies will receive approximately 13,000 doses as part of the federal government’s plan to ship out a million doses to local pharmacies.

The 13,000 doses coming to Kentucky will be shared among approximately 100 Walgreens locations and 50 other local pharmacies that are part of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy group. So, that means each pharmacy would get around 100 doses.

Walmart pharmacies in Kentucky are participating in a state vaccine program rather than the federal retail pharmacy vaccine distribution program. Does this mean Kentucky won’t get as much vaccine because Walmart will not get its vaccine directly from the federal government?

While nationally the federal pharmacy program is partnered with dozens of retailers, it will only be partnered with Walgreens and local pharmacies part of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy group in Kentucky.

The state’s initial allotment is 13,000 doses of the one million being earmarked nationwide. The amount being sent to each state’s pharmacies is based on population and equity considerations, according to COVID-19 Coordinator Jeff Zients who works for the Biden administration.

Distribution is based on area population and equity considerations, to make sure harder-to-reach, high-risk populations and communities are targeted, Zients said.

Kentucky is receiving about 1.3 percent of the one million doses which corresponds to approximately its same percentage of the nation’s population.

I am in phase 1C. What is the expected date for that group?

While priority is being given to those 70 or over, people who are in Phase 1C may be scheduled for vaccinations now to ensure the state meets its goal of each vaccinate site administering at least 90 percent of its supply within seven days.

Phase 1C includes anyone 60 or over, anyone 16 or older with high risk health conditions, and essential workers.

Here are the various phases and expected general timelines for vaccinations:

  • Phase 1A (now through end of winter): Residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities; health care personnel.
  • Phase 1B (Now through spring): Anyone 70 or older; first responders; K-12 personnel.
  • Phase 1C (February through summer): Anyone 60 or older; anyone 16 or older who has a CDC-listed high risk for COVID-19; essential workers.
  • Phase 2 (Late summer through next winter): Anyone 40 or older.
  • Phase 3 (fall through next winter): Anyone 16 or older.
  • Phase 4 (TBA): Children under 16, if vaccines are approved for their age group.

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