Voice Staff Report
McCreary County officials are trying to find an answer to the question of why McCreary County did not receive any of the 700 doses allotted to Lake Cumberland District’s ten county area. As of Monday, McCreary County had the third highest number of active Covid-19 cases among the ten counties in the health department’s district and yet no vaccine doses were allotted to the County. To date, the County has only received the first allotment of 100 doses, which was used to vaccinate first responders and health care providers.
The LCDHD released on Tuesday they had received a limited supply of vaccines and would be hosting clinics this week. Phone numbers were given to call if you are in phase 1A or phase 1B, including those 70 and older. The counties receiving the one time allotment were Adair, Casey, Clinton, Green, Russell, Taylor and Wayne. McCreary was not included.
McCreary County school staff was also the last in the district to receive vaccinations. McCreary School personnel vaccinations are scheduled to start today. (Taylor County school staff received vaccinations on January 8th.) The State Cabinet for Family Health and Services decides how many doses a county/district receives.
McCreary Judge Executive, Jimmie Greene II has written a letter to Senator Max Wise, with a copy sent to Representative Ken Upchurch, requesting that he petition the State Cabinet for Family Health and Services on our behalf. Greene points out that it appears the county is being shortchanged in receiving the vaccine. Most of the other counties have a hospital and receive additional doses, McCreary does not have a hospital and should not be penalized when additional doses are available, especially when we have the third highest number of active cases in the ten county district.
Greene enforced the ability of the McCreary Health Department to administer the vaccine saying they were willing and able to administer the shots when the vaccine is available. But, the McCreary Health Department can’t do anything to protect people over 70 with only the initial 100 doses. Greene wrote it was literally a Life-or-Death matter for people over 70 and individuals with a health issue.
McCreary reported 102 active cases, Pulaski reported 198 active cases and Taylor reported 129 active cases, the three counties reported with the highest number of active cases. Compare the number of active cases in McCreary to Adair with 36 cases reported or Casey and Clinton each with 35 active cases.
Taylor County, with the second highest number of active cases was one of the counties receiving an allotment of vaccine doses while Pulaski was not on the list but the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital receives 500 doses weekly. That leaves McCreary and Cumberland (30 active cases) counties without.