|Health dept. plans to administer 300 doses of COVID vaccine this week; begins phase 1c population
By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
The Montgomery County Health Dept. plans to administer 300 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today (Thursday) and have begun this week with the 1c population.
Public Health Director Allison Napier told the Advocate Tuesday that the health dept. had received 200 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and 100 doses of the two-dose Moderna vaccine.
Napier said the dept. planned to administer all 300 doses this Thursday.
She told the Advocate she was excited to get the 200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it can be administered in one dose, which is especially helpful for the older population, many of whom can travel only limited distances because of transportation concerns.
Napier noted that it’s also easier to track who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since it requires only one dose.
Unfortunately, Napier said, the dept. is not expected to get more of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week. The dept. is expected to receive 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine each week for the next two weeks.
This week, the dept. is finishing up with the 70 and older population in the 1b category and beginning with the 1c population.
The 1c category includes adults 60-69, those ages 16-59 with high-risk conditions and other essential workers.
The public is notified in advance to schedule an appointment. The dept. said there is no need to call to check on their status.
The dept. is taking the public in the order in which they signed up. The public can still sign up on the dept.’s Facebook page or visiting https//forms.gle/53o6gwQJLJr27uhWA. There is a residence requirement.
The dept. asks the public to be patient, that it will get to each person as supplies allow.
In the meantime, the dept. is encouraging the public to sign up in as many locations as possible, especially those who have easy access to transportation.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 vaccine website, vaccine.ky.gov, shows Kentuckians which phase they are in specifically. Individuals can sign up for notifications so state officials can communicate with them when doses become available at new and existing sites.
Vaccine.ky.gov also lists regional vaccination partners statewide, so Kentuckians can search their county or region and see how to schedule an appointment.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 vaccine hotline, 855-598-2246, has the same features as the website. Kentuckians can get assistance completing the vaccine eligibility questionnaire and scheduling an appointment when doses are available.
There is also a limited supply of vaccine available at some pharmacies. The health dept. recommends calling your local pharmacy to see if it has the vaccine available.
Locally, Kroger has a message on its pharmacy line that says that the staff has a limited ability to assist the public by phone regarding COVID service, vaccine or appointments.
Kroger suggests the public either sign up at kroger.com/covidvaccine or contact the state for details on vaccination sites.
Kroger Health has a regional vaccination site at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Fayette County.
Kentuckians can be vaccinated by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled directly at Kroger.com.covidvaccine or by calling 866-211-5320.
Free or reduced-cost transportation to and from vaccine appointments is offered by public transit agencies across the commonwealth. These services are already operating in more than 90 counties, covering 75 percent of all counties across Kentucky.
Kentuckians can find transportation services near them by heading to kycovid19.ky.gov for a full list of participating public transit agencies and their phone numbers, or by calling the Kentucky COVID-19 vaccine hotline.
On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced in a release that 834,130 Kentuckians—25 percent of Kentucky adults— have now received at least one dose of one of three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines.
The governor also announced Kentucky has now seen eight straight weeks of declining COVID-19 cases. “This is the exact type of trajectory we want to see as we are vaccinating people,” Beshear said. “This is in many ways a race against time against the variants. If we can continue that downward trajectory while increasing the number of people vaccinated, we can hopefully get to the end of this thing sooner rather than later. The president has made a promise that all adults who want to be vaccinated will be able to the get their first shot by at least the end of May.”
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Dept. for Public Health, updated Kentuckians on new guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“For adults who are fully vaccinated, the CDC is now saying those individuals within their own homes can gather in small groups with other fully vaccinated adults,” Stack said. “If vaccinated and unvaccinated people are mixed together in a gathering, generally you should still practice social distancing and wear your masks.
“The other guidance—and this is really important—when you are out in public settings, whether you are vaccinated or not, please wear your masks, social distance, wash your hands and continue to do those behaviors until we get everybody vaccinated, particularly the most vulnerable in society. There has also been no relaxation of the travel guidance by the CDC yet in relation to vaccination status. The new guidance released (Monday) is great news overall, but we still have to be careful.”