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VACCINE TEAM | Q&A on group gatherings, vax passports, shots for seniors

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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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.

If every member of a group has been fully vaccinated, is there any danger of transmission of the virus within the group?

Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to the latest guidance from federal health officials.

The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.

The guidance was designed to address a growing demand, as more adults have been getting vaccinated and wondering if it gives them greater freedom to visit family members, travel, or do other things like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world last year.

“With more and more people vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky who called the guidance a “first step” toward restoring normalcy in how people come together.

The CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people still wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public.

“There is no situation in which there is no risk. So it recognizes a range of risks,” says Dr. Gregory Poland, with the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic. “And it is the CDC’s first step toward normalcy by balancing the value of social interaction and family interaction that many of us have not been engaging in because of the science-based recommendations, and trying to decrease social isolation.”

A vaccine passport was mentioned on the news this morning, where do get one?

Plans for a vaccine passport are still being ironed out.

The Biden administration is working on a system for people to prove they’ve been vaccinated against coronavirus. The so-called “vax pass” or vaccine passport could be used by individuals in the workplace, in school or traveling internationally.

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to keep the card you’re given after receiving a vaccine handy. It can be used to show proof of vaccination. Staples and Office Depot will laminate the card for free.

When is Kentucky going to start vaccinations for inmates in jails and prisons?

State inmates started receiving vaccines earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the Department of Corrections plans to receive additional doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine by April 5. The plan is offer vaccinations to interested inmates as soon as next week at all prisons, expect for two that experienced recent COVID-19 outbreaks.

I’m a retired senior citizen who lives in Midway. I want to get the vaccine, but I don’t have transportation to outside areas. Are they ever going to have a pharmacy or doctor’s office in Midway administering the vaccine so I can walk to it?

While it doesn’t appear there’s a vaccination site in Midway right now, that could change.

To search and find various vaccination sites, try the state’s vaccine map or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s search tool vaccinefinder.org which also tells you which of the three approved vaccines each site has in stock.

Through a partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky and independent transportation network ITNBluegrass, free rides to vaccinations are available for low-income seniors. Call 859-252-8665 for more information.

My grandfather can’t leave the house to get one but there are people coming in and out of his house. Will there ever be a time when those who are home bound will be able to get a vaccination?

It’s still a challenge that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is still working to resolve, but the new single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine might speed things along.

Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines require careful handling and should not be transported once the vials are pierced. Each vial contains multiple vaccine doses, so that instability makes single doses in individual households a problem.

The Johnson & Johnson is an adenovirus-based vaccine and is less delicate than the other approved vaccine, making it more mobile. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has fewer storage and transportation requirements, which the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services says could make it a good option in the future for those like your grandfather.

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