‘This is a sticky issue’: Crossing state lines for vaccine allowed but not recommended

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 7:38 PM EST
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - Kentuckians who intend to drive across state lines to get their COVID vaccine may or may not be in luck, depending on where they go.

Health department officials in southern Indiana are giving mixed messages when it comes to vaccine shopping.

WAVE 3 News reached out to the Floyd, Clark, and Scott County health departments and received three different answers on whether Kentucky residents could make the short trip across the Ohio River to get their vaccine.

“This is a sticky issue with a lot of variations,” Floyd County Health Officer Dr. Tom Harris said.

Harris said the vaccine rollout has been confusing, due to the government’s leadership, meaning there can’t be tight restrictions.

”Most local health agencies in the U.S. have adopted the policy of giving immunizations to the people who show up to get the immunizations,” Harris said.

Many viewers contacted WAVE 3 News because they saw on social media that Kentuckians were traveling to Indiana to get the vaccine. Harris said that might be true, though it could create problems for Indiana’s vaccine supply.

”There are problems though with that. In Indiana, dose allotment is based on population,” Harris said.

Harris said those who cross state lines are effectively taking a shot from an eligible Hoosier.

”We have heard stories of people in Indiana going to get vaccinations in Kentucky because their criteria -- their job criteria -- have put them at risk in their mind,” Harris said.

The doctor added that this is a recent issue because Indiana teachers have not yet been approved for the vaccine, but if they drive to Louisville they can be vaccinated.

WAVE 3 News reached out to the Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness for information and had not received a response at the time of his article’s publication.

There are currently no restrictions in place that prevent out-of-state people from getting vaccinated in Kentucky.

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