Officials with the Kentucky Department for Public Health announced Friday afternoon an initial, comprehensive draft plan for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to local health departments and health care organizations, once all safety trials are completed.
State officials said the first shipment of the vaccine is anticipated for delivery in late 2020 or early 2021 to Kentucky from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Governor Andy Beshear said the federal government provided a detailed plan for how states should distribute the vaccine, once all the safety trials have been completed. He added the commonwealth’s plan closely mimics their recommendation. The governor said protecting the health and lives of Kentucky’s families remain his administration’s top priority as the COVID-19 battle continues and vaccines arrive.
State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the first phase of the plan will help ensure those most at risk — certain health care workers and first responders — have access to the vaccination. He added the plan will accommodate vaccinating these essential workers in every county across Kentucky.
Dr. Stack also indicated supplies of the vaccine will be limited, at first. He said this is the reason for a phased distribution approach. As supplies of the vaccine rise, he said all Kentuckians are expected to have access, and added that distributing the vaccine to as many as 4.4 million residents will likely take a year or more to complete.
Dr. Stack noted it’s been necessary for months to remind Kentuckians that there is no cure for COVID-19 and that no vaccine exists. He added it’s gratifying to have gotten to this point, to be in the position of saying that soon, the vaccine will be available to some and that it’s on its way to every resident in the commonwealth who wishes to take it.
Cabinet Secretary Eric Friedlander said the COVID-19 vaccine is imperative to fully reopen Kentucky’s economy and help with the return to what feels ‘normal’.’ He added getting immunized against not only COVID-19 but getting and remaining current with all recommended vaccines, is important to protect you and those around you. He said vaccines are the best way they have to prevent infectious diseases, and a successful immunization program depends on the cooperation of every person.
The publicly available draft plan, filed Friday with the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), can be found by clicking here. Officials say it references vaccine management and tracking; supply management; community education and engagement; contact management; analytics and reporting and organizational support.