More people are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination

Kentucky’s regional COVID-19 vaccination centers, including Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, will move to include people who are listed in the Phase 1C beginning Monday, March 1. Since December, only residents of long-term care facilities, health care personnel, first responders, school personnel, child care workers, and people over age 70 have been allowed to be vaccinated.

Opening up Phase 1C for vaccinations will include a broader portion of the population. Now, essential workers such as those who are involved with food and agriculture, manufacturing, and workers in the U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery stores can make appointments to receive their shots. Phase 1C has also expands to people who work in construction, finance, IT and communications, energy, legal, public safety engineers, water and waste water, clergy, and those who have health issues.

However, EMH Executive Director of Clinical Effectiveness Jason P. Dean said, “We will still be primarily covering 1B and will be slowly moving into 1C.”

EMH has been allotted 500 doses a week and Dean doesn’t know if it that number will be increased. So far, they have vaccinated more than 2,800 people.

Dean added, “We have a wait list of over 20,000 people. We will be working that wait list until we no longer have vaccinations or until everyone has been vaccinated either by our organization or another location.”

Boyle County Health Department Director Brent Blevins said the Department of Public Health Commissioner asked local departments to “look for vulnerable type groups that may struggle getting the vaccination. Outside of the 1A/1B groups we have completed, we are working on childcare agencies, older adults, Supports for Community Living waiver participants and any other group we identify.”

He added the Boyle County Health Department has already been vaccinating people in the 1C group if it had extra doses that would expire following any of their clinics.

“1C is such a broad category that a lot of people will fall into one of the categories.”

The local health department has finished vaccinating the staff at the Danville and Boyle County school districts, Danville Christian Academy, and vaccinated another group of officers at Northpoint Training Center. It will finish with Kentucky School for the Deaf staff next week, Blevins said.

“Most first responders and correctional officers who wanted the vaccine have either finished their second dose or been given that opportunity as of now,” Blevins said.

He added that the local health department has administered more than 2,700 doses so far.

Blevins said most of the COVID-19 doses are distributed to the regional sites and pharmacies with a limited amount coming to the health departments. He added, “As more pharmacies and doctor offices begin vaccinating the general public, in conjunction with Ephraim as a regional site, our number of vaccinated people in Boyle County will increase quickly.”