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Widespread COVID Vaccinations Possible In Kentucky By Summer 2021

AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

Kentucky's top health official is outlining how the state plans to launch its first rounds of COVID-19 vaccinations, once one or more are available.

State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack told lawmakers Wednesday that any vaccine will be phased in, with the first doses potentially available in early or mid-December for first responders. He cautioned that storage of some of the vaccines could add many more layers of complication.

"These vaccines are challenging. They're incredibly inspiring how much progress scientifically has been made, but they're challenging," Stack said. "The earliest vaccines will include one that has to be stored at -80 degrees Celsius. That's -114 degrees Fahrenheit."

Stack said he envisions a delivery system that ramps up over the first half of 2021.

"This is speculative in large part, but I and I think others are hopeful that by summer of next year, we willl be... where we are able to vaccinate large numbers of people with relative efficiency," he added.

The commissioner has indicated he believes distribution of the vaccine across the commonwealth could take a year to complete. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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