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Local COVID-19 Vaccinations Underway

By Eugenia Jones

McCreary County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Stephen McKinney informed Fiscal Court members the first shipment of one hundred doses of COVID-19 vaccine for McCreary County has been successfully administered by the local Health Department to category 1A health care workers and first responders. Lake Cumberland Health Department administered the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine which has a protocol requiring two doses approximately 28 days apart.
McKinney said the second order of one hundred doses for the initial vaccination of category 1B first responders and individuals ages seventy and older has been submitted; however, he is uncertain when it will be received from Frankfort. McKinney expects the vaccine needed to administer the second (booster) shot to 1A health care workers and first responders who have already received their first dose of vaccine to arrive soon.
McKinney stated the McCreary County Health Department will notify the public via newspaper, radio, and social media when the next one hundred doses of initial vaccine for 1B first responders and individuals ages seventy and older becomes available. Those wishing to be vaccinated will then call the local health department to schedule appointments for vaccinations.
In addition to vaccination efforts by the local Health Department, McKinney said Walgreens, working through the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is in the process of administering vaccinations to individuals at McCreary County’s long-term care facilities.
McKinney noted McCreary County is ordering COVID-19 vaccine in batches of 100 doses (required minimal order) based on the number of responses received from individuals indicating a desire to receive the vaccine. The Moderna vaccine does not have a long shelf life since it requires extremely cold temperatures for storage. McKinney explained doses of the vaccine would be wasted if too much vaccine is ordered simultaneously and not used promptly. In order to avoid waste, it has now been approved for the local health department to move ahead with vaccinating those in the next phase (e.g. 1C, etc.) when there is unused vaccine remaining from the scheduled phase.
McKinney said more people in McCreary County are showing an interest in being vaccinated-especially the elderly ages 60-70 and family members of the elderly.
“Once we get to the phase of vaccinating the general public, we hope Rural Health Care Providers will be able to administer the vaccine,” McKinney noted.
McKinney, who has taken his first dose of vaccination, said he had no side effects.
“I didn’t have any problems,” McKinney said. “I didn’t have fever or headache. A few of the first responders had a tender arm like you might get with a flu shot.”
According to, Kentucky’s phases for vaccine distribution is as follows:
1A-Long term care facilities, assisted living facilities, health care personnel
1B-First responders, anyone age 70 or older, K-12 school personnel
1C-Anyone age 60 or older, anyone age 16 or older with CDC highest risk C19 risk conditions, all essential workers
2-Anyone age 40 or older.
3-Anyone age 16 or older.
4-Children under the age of 16 if the vaccine is approved for this age group (est. 18% of KY population.)

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