A surprise shipment of 1,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be distributed this Friday at the Scott County Public Library, said Dr. Crystal Miller, WEDCO Health district’s public health director.

As of press time WEDCO only had 250 appointments signed up for the Friday clinic, she said.

“We are a little concerned,” Miller said. “Normally, Monday is our busiest day and we only have about 250 appointments. I hope we can distribute all of these 1,000 doses. I’m worried we are starting to run into vaccine hesitancy, but it is hard to tell because there are now so many places giving out vaccines.”

If the 1,000 J&J vaccines are distributed Friday, WEDCO will have provided about 11,000 doses since the vaccinations began in January, she said. Some 400 residents were fully vaccinated last week, according to WEDCO’s Facebook page.

WEDCO is offering vaccines for anyone 18 years or older.

“We cannot give vaccines to anyone younger than 18 because the vaccines we give (J&J and Moderna) are not approved for them,” Miller said. “The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for anyone under the age of 18, and we won’t be distributing these vaccines.

“We’ve had a lot of questions about that. So, anyone who wants a vaccine for someone younger than 18 should look for sites that distribute the Pfizer vaccine.”

Anyone interested in registering for a J&J vaccine this Friday should go to www.wedcohealth.org. The J&J vaccine is a single dose vaccine while the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses.

“We have a lot of people who are requesting the J&J vaccine because it is a single does,” she said.

Originally, WEDCO was expected for this to be an off week as no vaccines were scheduled for delivery, but last Wednesday a surprise shipment of J&J vaccines arrived, so another clinic was quickly scheduled for this Friday.

A state audit of COVID-19 related deaths has pushed Scott County’s death toll to 34 when an individual who passed away in December at an out-of-town hospital was attributed to the county. 

The Centers for Disease Control continues to have Scott County’s COVID status at “high,” although the number of cases continues to fall. As of last Friday, Scott County had 12 new confirmed cases during the first two days of April bringing the total number of confirmed county cases since the pandemic began to 4,556.

Through Monday morning, some 21.3 percent of Scott County’s population or 12,148 people have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC website. The CDC reports that 62.9 percent of Scott County residents over the age of 65 have been fully vaccinated and 26.8 percent of residents over the age of 18.

Health experts say the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals must be about 75 percent in order to reach herd immunity. Kentucky heath officials say some 40 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

 

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

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