Update on vaccine efforts in the region

The Lake Cumberland District Health Department provided this update about vaccination efforts in the area. 

Vaccination for COVID 19 began December 23rd across the Lake Cumberland District. Each of the ten health departments received limited doses of the vaccine. These doses were given to individuals identified by the Kentucky Department for Public Health Tier 1a. The Tier 1a individuals consist of long-term care facilities (LTCF) residents and staff, assisted living facilities (ALT) residents and staff, healthcare personnel in clinical settings (inpatient, outpatient, dental and homebased). The health departments focus has been on healthcare personnel.

The long-term care facilities (LTCF) residents and staff, are being vaccinated by a contact through the Department for Public Health with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies. We anticipate these facilities in our District should be vaccinated by March.

Hospitals across the Lake Cumberland District have received limited supplies of vaccine. They are asked to follow the Kentucky Department for Public Health Tier Vaccination guidelines. The hospitals have vaccinated their employees, as well as, in some counties assisted with additional health care personnel.

We have requested additional vaccine to continue vaccinating Tier 1a. After all identified Tier 1a individuals have been vaccinated, we will begin vaccination for Tier 1b. Tier 1b is identified as first responders, K-12 school employees and persons over 70 years of age. Tier 1b is an extremely large group of individuals. We want remind everyone that this is no easy task. We realize many individuals want to be vaccinated. However, there is very limited amounts of vaccine available at this time.

We do want to assure the public that we are working diligently to vaccinate the community as guided by the Department for Public Health. Everyone be aware, it may be summer before unlimited vaccines will be available for the community at large.

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for LakerCountry.com and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.