FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Governor Andy Beshear says he is not satisfied with the pace of administering COVID-19 vaccine doses to Kentuckians as more people become infected with the virus.
"We've got to get these things out faster," said Gov. Beshear. "I'm not OK with the pace that they are currently being provided. We have too many people out there who are rightfully anxious, and they need to see this whole country pick up the pace. We are certainly going to do it here in Kentucky."
Governor Beshear said 60,414 vaccine doses have already been administered in Kentucky; 57,000 doses (27,300 from Pfizer and 29,700 from Moderna) will be delivered this week.
The governor and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, announced that Kentuckians would be inoculated in four phases.
The planned vaccination phases are:
- Phase 1a: Long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, health care personnel
- Phase 1b: First responders, Kentuckians age >= 70, K-12 school personnel
- Phase 1c: Kentuckians age >= 60, anyone older than 16 with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highest-risk conditions for COVID-19, all essential workers
- Phase 2: Age >= 40
- Phase 3: Age >= 16
- Phase 4: Children under the age of 16 if the vaccine is approved for this age group (estimated to comprise 18% of Kentucky's population)
#TeamKentucky #COVID19 vaccination phases announced in full today.— Steven J. Stack (@StevenStackMD) January 4, 2021
January will focus on Phase 1A and starting 1B.
More information will follow over next few weeks to efficiently and safely vaccinate persons in Phases 1C and beyond.
Governor Beshear said the state's goal is to administer 90% of all vaccine doses received in the state within seven days of arrival. The newly announced additional phases provide clarity on when more Kentuckians can get the vaccine. The phases also help providers understand what order vaccines should be administered in, which is crucial if they are having challenges meeting the 90% weekly goal or if they have extra thawed vaccine.
"We are committed to getting this done quickly, efficiently and in the best way we know how and are able to deliver. We're committed to ramping up the pace dramatically," said Dr. Stack. "We're asking every vaccination site to use the prioritization guidance and stick with that, but the top level goal is for every vaccine administration site in the state to administer 90% or more of the vaccine doses they receive within one week, so we don't have vaccine doses waiting in a freezer until the next week."
To view the essential workers defined for these vaccination phases, click here.