FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky will soon have 156 additional vaccine sites spread throughout the state in a dramatic expansion of its vaccination infrastructure.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced the new sites [full list here] Thursday with Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.
“There are still some gaps in that map,” Stack said, “but we are filling those in as quickly as we can.”
Kentucky currently has eight high-volume regional vaccination sites, including one at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington. Thursday appointments at the Covington site are being rescheduled due to winter storms.
Vaccinations are also currently being provided through local health departments.
The new vaccine sites include six additional regional sites, 10 Kroger store locations and 15 Walmart store locations.
>> Sign up for Kroger store vaccine appointments here | Schedule here for Walmart store appointments beginning 5 p.m. on Feb. 15
Another 125 pharmacies will provide vaccinations through a federal pharmacy program. Some 78 Walgreens and 47 independent pharmacies under the Good Neighbor brand will provide the vaccinations.
The program includes a Kroger store in Maysville, a Kroger store in Carrollton and a Walmart store in Carrollton.
Northern Kentucky will also be home to at least four pharmacies offering vaccinations through the federal program:
- Blanks Pharmacy in Covington;
- Cull Family Pharmacy in Owenton;
- Total Care Pharmacy in Dry Ridge; and
- Total Care Pharmacy in Crittenden.
Gov. Andy Beshear explained each site offers additional capacity to administer more vaccines than current supply permits, allowing the sites to ramp up as more vaccines come in.
“We are efficient. We have built a system that can administer more vaccinations than we are currently getting,” he said. “These new sites are a big deal. They are going to move us forward and build out what we need so when supply increases, we are ready to get it out even more quickly to communities throughout the state.”
All the new sites will begin vaccinations the week of Feb. 15.
>> Access Kentucky’s vaccine portal here or call 855.598.2246 (staffed 8 a.m.-7 p.m. M-F)
The expansion comes as the federal program aimed at vaccinating members and staff at long-term care facilities and nursing homes comes to an end. According to Stack, the program, administered through Walgreens and CVS, will have finished its third and final visit to all LTC facilities and nursing homes next week.
Meanwhile, DPH is advising some current vaccination sites to begin vaccinating those 60 and older.
Generally the state is prioritizing those 70 and older, who make up the last group of Kentuckians in Phase 1B. But variances in the vaccine’s rollout across the state and blurred boundaries between different phases has allowed some sites to move forward with Phase 1C.
According to Stack, the state should be able to begin fully vaccinating Phase 1C — those 60 and older; those over 16 with high-risk conditions; and all essential workers — by March 1.
Kentucky received 68,475 first vaccine doses Tuesday, its weekly allotment from the federal government.
The state will begin receiving 71,675 weekly first doses next week, reflecting a 28 percent increase from Kentucky’s weekly allotment in January and a 6 percent increase from its current weekly allotment.
To date, Kentucky has received 555,950 first doses in total and administered 479,879 for a utilization rate of 86 percent.
The federal government is also administering a small number of doses in Kentucky’s federal prisons, VA hospitals and DOD facilities. Through that program, 17,377 additional first doses have been administered.
The 497,256 first doses administered reflects 13.6 percent of the vaccine-eligible population (ages 16 and up, or 3,641,310 residents.)
Kentucky recorded 1,880 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday and 36 new virus-related deaths.
Just four of the deaths were reported in long-term care facilities, a significant decline since vaccinations began. Before then, around 66 percent of all deaths were occurring in such facilities.
The state’s rolling seven-day positivity rate is 7.08 percent, its lowest level since Nov. 6.
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