Some 1,600 Scott County educators are expected to receive COVID-19 vaccinations next week.
“I just spoke with Dr. Crystal Miller, director of WEDCO, our local health department,” Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub wrote in an email to area teachers. “All indications are that we will have our share of vaccine during the week of 25 Jan.”
Last Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced plans that all Kentucky teachers who want a COVID-19 vaccine should receive their first dose by the end of the first week of February. During that same announcement Beshear said the state will soon launch a series of high-volume drive-thru sites as part of a partnership with Kroger. President-elect Joe Biden also announced last week that he plans to distribute 100 million vaccines during his first 100 days in office. Biden will be inaugurated Wednesday.
The school’s announcement comes on the heels of news that WEDCO would not have any COVID-19 vaccines this week. Miller said she was alerted by state officials last week there would be no vaccines, but she did not think that had anything to do with the school vaccination announcement.
“I’m hoping we’ll get enough vaccines next week for the teachers and have some for people 70 and over, as well,” Miller said. The state notifies WEDCO how many vaccines it will receive on Fridays but the supply typically does not arrive until Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week. WEDCO plans to hold COVID Clinics on Fridays until the supply of vaccines is so great that it takes more than a day to distribute.
WEDCO has completed its first phase of vaccinations for first responders and non-hospital health care workers and now plans to focus on people aged 70 and over. As of last Friday, WEDCO had vaccinated 800 people in Scott County, Miller said.
Registration for the vaccines will be held online, but will not be opened until WEDCO knows how many vaccines will be available. People who do not have a computer or who are not computer savvy may call WEDCO for assistance once the registrations are open. Otherwise, people are aksed not to call WEDCO about the vaccines so the personnel can focus on other health issues.
The school system and WEDCO will coordinate scheduling vaccines for teachers.
The federal government contracted with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to provide vaccine for nursing homes and long-term care facilities and the first phase is at or near completion with schedules for the second dose starting soon, according to managers of several facilities.
The two vaccines currently available — by Pfizer and Moderna — require two doses and must be kept frozen. This week, Johnson & Johnson is expected to present its vaccine to the FDA for approval. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires a single dose and can be stored in a typical refrigerator. The University of Kentucky, in partnership with Baptist Health Lexington and Norton Healthcare in Louisville are test sites for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Scott County continues to climb. Last week, there were 237 new cases pushing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for Scott County to 3,348, of which 576 have been in the month of January.
Mike Scogin can be reached at email@example.com.