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Kentucky announces mass vaccination centers, presses pause on Phase 1C

Those 70 and older will be prioritized for the vaccine until further notice.
Updated: Jan. 28, 2021 at 3:41 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Continued constraints on vaccine supply are hindering the rollout of Kentucky’s ambitious infrastructure for mass vaccinations.

Two weeks after teasing a statewide vaccination plan slated to begin Feb. 1 with phases 1B and 1C, Kentucky leaders revealed a slightly pared back version of that plan Thursday.

The upshot is Kentuckians in Phase 1C — those 60 and older; those over 16 with high-risk conditions; and all essential workers — will have to wait a bit longer for their shots.

On Thursday Gov. Andy Beshear revealed the locations of the state’s first four high-volume regional vaccination centers: one each in Lexington and Danville and two in Paducah.

Kentuckians in Phase 1B — those 70 and older; first responders; and K-12 school personnel — will be prioritized for appointments.

School personnel are being vaccinated through a separate program likely to be complete by the end of next week. First responders are all but finished with vaccinations. Therefore, functionally, the 70-plus demographic will receive the lion’s share of vaccine doses at the centers.

Other vaccination sites around Kentucky are being asked to prioritize those 70 and older as well.

Around 100,000 Kentuckians in the demographic have been vaccinated already, and around 400,000 remain, according to Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.

Some 362,924 vaccine doses have been administered in Kentucky, or around 78 percent of the 466,700 doses it has received. (More below.)

The state’s goal remains getting its weekly doses out at a 90 percent clip. That means Phase 1C individuals could still receive vaccines at local or regional sites if the alternative is keeping doses stored in freezers longer than seven days.

“The top-line message on vaccines is the same as it has been: Our one issue is supply,” said Beshear. “Our only limitation at this point is the number of doses we can get from the federal government.”

Kentuckians can find out if they are eligible to receive a vaccine (and find a place to get one) with a new website — vaccine.ky.gov — and hotline — 855.598.2246 or TTY 855.326.4654. The hotline is staffed 8 a.m.-7 p.m. M-F.

The regional centers will begin administering doses Feb. 2. Kentuckians can be vaccinated by appointment only:

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday the week of Feb. 1
  • 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday beginning the week of Feb. 8

More regional centers will be unveiled each of the next two Thursdays.

The Lexington center, based at the Kentucky Horse Park, is the result of a state partnership with Kroger Health. It remains unclear how many of the forthcoming regional centers will follow suit.

>> Beshear unveils partnership with Kroger on drive-thru vaccination centers

Kroger regional site appointments can be scheduled directly at Kroger.com/covidvaccine or call 866-211-5320. Kentuckians also can be directed to contact Kroger through the state’s vaccine.ky.gov website.

This site will vaccinate 3,000 Kentuckians in the first week, approximately 600 people per day. New appointments are added to the website every around 6 a.m. daily.

Kentuckians not currently eligible or unable to locate an available vaccine are encouraged to sign up for text or email updates by entering their name, county of residence and an email or phone number at vaccine.ky.gov. The sign-up is not a wait list or appointment scheduler, but aims to provide alerts when a person’s eligibility changes, or, for example, when vaccines are available in an area.

Kentucky has received 466,700 total vaccine doses.

Of the total doses received, 120,900 have been diverted to the long-term care facility program per a federal contract. These include first and second doses.

Of those doses, 52,567 have been administered, an increase of 2,124 since Wednesday.

Of the 345,800 doses funneled through the state program, 310,357 have been administered, an increase of 22,294 since Wednesday.

A total of 362,924 doses have been administered in the state.

Kentucky recorded 2,947 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday and 69 new virus-related deaths, the largest daily death increase of the pandemic.

The positivity rate continues to trend down. Currently it is 9.04 percent based on a rolling seven-day average.

Some 1,561 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 370 are in ICUs and 205 are on ventilators.

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