Plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in Kentucky are taking shape, with the first shipments expected in December.
"The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter," Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday. "It's also why I need you to keep fighting."
Assuming the approval process keeps up its record-breaking pace, roughly 38,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine could arrive in Kentucky as early as mid-December with around 78,000 of the Moderna vaccine to follow two weeks later. While the shipment sizes are significantly smaller than initially projected by the federal government, at potentially a third of the original numbers, the governor says the state will focus its attention on populations most at risk through a tiered system.
"It's not going to be everywhere and it's not going to be available to the general public until we get healthcare workers, long-term care residents and staffers. There's going to be a big priority on teachers because once we have our teachers vaccinated, school is really safe," Beshear explained.
A test run for ordering and receiving the Pfizer vaccine, which must be kept at an extremely cold temperature, is already underway this week at the University of Kentucky.
Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the state will rely on FDA and CDC approval processes in assessing vaccine safety, and the governor reissued his promise to be vaccinated.
In the meantime, health officials are warning the combination of more indoor gatherings, holiday travel, and a fatigued public could lead to a grim winter as residents await the potentially game-changing vaccines. Beshear is asking anyone who attended a Thanksgiving gathering to self-quarantine and get tested.
KENTUCKY'S MONDAY COVID-19 REPORT:
- 2,124 new cases
- 12 deaths
- 9.42% positivity rate
- 1,741 hospitalized
- 421 in ICU
- 229 on ventilator
- 203 cases in kids 18 and under