Darren Doyle, story:
The first COVID-19 vaccines shipped to Kentucky were administered this morning. Three Kentucky hospitals, UofL Hospital, Baptist Health Lexington, and the Medical Center at Bowling Green, each received 975 doses today and began their vaccination plans.
“Today is a historic day in the commonwealth – we are at the beginning of the end of our war with COVID-19,” said Governor Andy Beshear, who was at UofL Hospital as UPS delivered the vaccines. “The Pfizer vaccine, which we believe to be 95% effective, is the defense we have needed to end this pandemic, and with the highly effective Moderna vaccine likely on its way to approval soon, we are all filled with hope for the first time in a very long time. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. To our front-line workers: we are forever grateful for your bravery, talents and compassion.”
According to information obtained by the Edmonson County Judge Executive's Office this morning, local health departments are expecting to receive their first shipments of the vaccine as early as next week. Judge Wil Cannon said today that vaccines are currently being prioritized by health officials and will be administered based on priority levels for now; however, those plans are subject to change at any time.
Cannon said select hospitals will begin receiving shipments this week and local health departments in the Barren District Health Department region will receive some next week. As of now, the current priority areas are as follow:
In Bowling Green, Connie Smith, president and chief executive officer of Med Center Health, said, “In what will forever be remembered as a monumental event in our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Medical Center is honored to have been selected to be one of the first hospitals in Kentucky to receive an allocation of the initial Pfizer vaccine," according to a press release from Beshear's office.
She added, “We have seen firsthand the impact of this devastating virus on our patients, physicians and health care workers, as well as the community. Now is not the time to let our guard down. While the arrival of the vaccine is a game-changer in the fight against this pandemic, we recognize that the delivery of subsequent vaccines for the general public will take time over several months. We all must continue to wear a mask, practice proper hygiene and keep socially distant. Let’s finish this together.”
The Kentucky Department of Health has released additional information in the form of frequently asked vaccine questions, which can be viewed here.