LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Twenty regional vaccine centers across Kentucky will begin Phase 1C on March 1, expanding eligibility to 1.3 million people.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced the start of Phase 1C during his daily briefing in Frankfort on Monday.
“We expect that local health departments and others will also begin vaccinating 1C individuals, but we are going to be asking them to be more targeted, reaching parts of 1B and 1A that are more difficult to get to,” Beshear said.
Phase 1C includes anyone over 60 years old, anyone over 16 years old at high risk from COVID-19, and all essential workers. Beshear said people between the ages of 60 and 70 will get priority.
The update comes after winter storms last week delayed the vaccine rollout. Across Kentucky, appointments were rescheduled and vaccine shipments were held up by the weather. Beshear said the state could see all of those doses this week and more.
“65,000 doses are expected this week, along with this week’s allocation, meaning we got a whole lot of vaccine,” he said.
As many as 150,000 doses are expected in total, including the backlog. Beshear said those delays won’t impact the timeline to herd immunity and Kentucky can “catch up” in two weeks.
“This is an early test about our ability to scale up, reach out to wait lists, get people in,” he said.
Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the pace of the vaccine rollout is also expected to increase in the coming weeks.
“As long as the Moderna, Pfizer and soon to come we hope Johnson & Johnson vaccine continue to come in the quantities we anticipate, we are going to move progressively faster,” he said.
COVID-19 numbers in Kentucky are falling daily, a trend that has been ongoing for six weeks straight.
Beshear reported 530 new cases of the virus on Monday, bringing the state total since the start of the pandemic to 397,526 cases. The number of new cases is the lowest seen in one day since Oct. 5.
“It may have been impacted by the weather and level of testing,” the governor said, “but the numbers are the lowest they’ve been in a very long time.”
Beshear also said the state has a 6.6% positivity rate.
There were 13 reported virus-related deaths Monday, bringing the total for the state to 4,460.
A total of 583,754 people have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine in the state. Stack said that equals about 12.5 percent of the population of Kentucky.
More than 200,000 of the vaccines were administered to those aged 70 and older.
Beshear also confirmed that regional vaccination centers will move to Phase 1C on March 1. Priority will be given to those age 65 and older.
There are at least 51 regional sites administering vaccines and nearly 300 in total across the state. To find a location, click here.
Other sites include those set up through partnerships with Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens and other local businesses and pharmacies:
The Kentucky COVID-19 Hotline can help with all other vaccine questions at (800) 722-5725.