FRANKFORT, KY (FOX19) -The Kentucky Department of Public Health announced Friday a first draft plan for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to local health departments and organizations.
State health officials say the first shipment of the vaccine is anticipated for delivery in late 2020 or early 2021 to the state from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense.
“The federal government provided a detailed plan for how states should distribute the vaccine, once all safety trials are completed, and the commonwealth’s plan closely mimics their recommendation,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Protecting the health and lives of our Kentucky families remains our top priority as we battle COVID-19 and as vaccines arrive.”
Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Health Steven Stack says the first phase will help those most at risk, such as health care workers and first responders.
“The plan will accommodate vaccinating these essential workers in every county across the commonwealth,” Dr. Stack said.
The draft plan was filed with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
“Supplies of the vaccine will be limited, at first,” Dr. Stack said. “This is the reason for a phased distribution approach. As supplies of the vaccine rise, all Kentuckians are expected to have access,” he said, adding that distributing the vaccine to as many as 4.4 million residents will likely take a year or more to complete.
- Frontline inpatient and hospital-based health care workers
- Long Term Care and Assisted Living Facilities workers
- Frontline outpatient health care providers
- Correctional facilities residents and workers
- Retail food and grocers, food service workers
- Higher Education personnel
- Critical government personnel
- Transportation delivery drivers and warehouse workers
- Those who are at least 60 years old or have co-morbid conditions
- High-risk children, non-elderly adults, pregnant women
- Workers in industries and occupations at an increased risk of exposure, not included in previous phases
- General population
Eric Friedlander, cabinet secretary, says getting vaccinated with not only COVID-19, but all other vaccinations is vital.
“Vaccines are the best way we have to prevent infectious disease," Friedlander said. "A successful immunization program depends on the cooperation of every person.”
Health officials say Kentuckians should still socially distance at least six feet apart, wear a mask, and practice hand hygiene.