WEDCO Health District is awaiting additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so the remainder of Scott County’s first responders can be vaccinated, said Dr. Crystal Miller, public health director.

Some 100 first responders received their first dose last week. WEDCO is using the Moderna vaccine which requires a second shot 28 days after the first vaccine.

Once all first responders are vaccinated, non-hospital health care workers such as dentistry, pediatrics, funeral homes, etc. will be next. Those interested in signing up for vaccines for non-hospital healthcare workers should go www.wedcohealth.org, click on the “Covid Vaccine” tab and complete the survey. Someone from WEDCO will be in contact for the time and place of the vaccination.

People are encouraged not to call the WEDCO office about the vaccines in order to keep the phones available for other health issues.

“We will wrap up first responders this week and move into non-hospital healthcare, then to education and those over the age of 70,” states WEDCO’s Facebook page. Scott County Schools asked teachers to alert the school system if they did not want the vaccine in apparent anticipation that teachers and school staff will be in line, soon. 

How fast the vaccination program progresses depends upon the availability of supply, Miller said.

“It’s still a supply/demand issue,” she said. “We have a very limited supply.”

The federal government has contracted with pharmacies Walgreens and CVS to provide vaccines to area nursing homes and long-term case facilities. Some facilities received vaccines last week before the New Year’s holiday, but several facilities have reported vaccine schedules this week as it appears to be ramping up. The pharmacies are using the Pfizer vaccine, which requires a second dose within 21 days.

The virus surge continues in Scott County with 36 new confirmed cases as of Dec. 31 — the most recent day for statistics — pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 2,772. December has had the highest number of confirmed cases for Scott County since the pandemic began with 884 new confirmed cases, according to WEDCO.

Hospitalizations, a critical number according to Miller, are starting to rise. Last week, three more people were hospitalized with COVID-19, pushing the total number of hospitalizations to 53 since the pandemic began in March, according to WEDCO. Fourteen people were hospitalized in December. Many of the more extreme cases are sent to Lexington hospitals so this number may not be inclusive of all Scott County-related hospitalizations.

Georgetown Community Hospital does not release specific numbers of patients, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that as of last week 14.7 percent of the hospital beds in Scott County were occupied by coronavirus patients.

The county’s death toll remains at 25.

 

Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com.

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