Gov. Beshear expects major COVID-19 vaccine announcement Thursday

Gov. Beshear expects major COVID-19 vaccine announcement Thursday

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Governor Andy Beshear says big news is on the horizon regarding the state’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.

During his daily briefing Tuesday, Beshear told reporters he was pushing back his vaccine update to fall in line with that announcement. He also said the federal government has not updated Kentucky’s allocation next week for one of the vaccines.

Currently, both Pfizer and Moderna have COVID-19 vaccines in circulation.

Beshear’s announcement comes on the same day that the Department of Health and Human Services announced it will move forward with President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to distribute reserved second doses of the vaccine. Those previously reserved doses will be distributed in the next couple of weeks.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control data shows as of Tuesday morning, 25 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered nationwide, but just under 9 million shots have been administered.

The new plan allows for immediate vaccinations for all Americans age 65 and older, and states are being asked to open more channels for vaccine administration.

“Hospitals made sense as the early distribution sites when the focus was on healthcare workers, but they’re not where most Americans go to get vaccines,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. “States should move on to pharmacies, community health centers and mass vaccination sites as desired or needed.”

Beshear said the government’s plan falls under Phase 1C of Kentucky’s state plan. Under Phase 1C, adults 65 and older can receive the vaccine, along with anyone 16 and older who is considered “high risk.” In addition, the remaining frontline essential workers not covered under Phase 1B will be included in Phase 1C.

Workers in the transportation, energy, water management, banking, media, courts, and food service industries are eligible for the vaccination under 1C.

“The most important thing is we want 90 percent of all doses that they get in people’s arms in that week,” Beshear said. “So, that means that in some areas, or even maybe just in parts of some weeks, that you’re going to see in different parts of Kentucky, movement into different priorities from 1A to 1B to 1C.”

Beshear also said if the government decides to release the reserved second doses, it will create a surge of vaccine doses in Kentucky for a few weeks. He’s concerned if the state administers all the reserve doses right away, there won’t be enough for people to get their second dose.

“If we immediately vaccinate everyone with that, which is we want to do, is there going to be sufficient amounts three or four weeks later to get that booster shot,’” Beshear said. “And that’s what we’re working on right now. I think it’s good to go ahead push these out, but we got to do it wisely and we can’t put people in the situation where they can’t get the second shot.”

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