Logan County Judge-Executive Logan Chick made a promise Thursday to try and make sure every COVID-19 vaccine that comes into Logan County is used and all to keep the citizens informed of the up and coming phases.
The county has recently received and begun administering 100 vaccines through the health department to first responders including law enforcement, firefighters, emergency management personnel, 911 dispatchers, and jail staff. Logan Memorial Hospital also received 300 vaccines as well, which are being offered to all frontline healthcare workers in the county.
“We are still allocating out to our frontline healthcare workers in the county,” said April Triplett, Director of Marketing at Logan Memorial Hospital when asked how the process was going. “It does take a while getting around everyone’s schedule. We are working on the next steps but have not been allocated any more vaccines at this time. I know it’s hard for people to understand how it all rolls out.”
Judge Chick said he has been getting calls from members of the older population in the county wondering when it will be their turn to get the vaccine and how they will know.
“I understand there is some frustration concerning the number of vaccines we have received and when others will be available,” said Chick who also serves a chairman on the Barren River District Health Department Board. “I am staying in touch with both the health department and the local hospital and will make sure when I know something, the public will know it as well.” Chick is scheduled to attend a zoom meeting with the health department and Logan Memorial Hospital Thursday afternoon.
According to Chick and conversations he has had with Matt Hunt, Director of the Barren River District Health Department, the launching of a call center is in the works and could be up and running as early as next week. The call center will provide for those 70 and older a place to give their name and telephone number to be contacted when their turn comes up. It has not been decided yet where the vaccinations will be offered to that population but it is expected to be local.
The state of Kentucky has implemented a COVID-19 Vaccination Plan that includes phases. Phase 1-A includes long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and health care personnel. Phase 1-B includes first responders, anyone over the age of 70, and K-12 school personnel. Phase 1-C includes anyone over the age of 60, anyone older than 16 with CDC highest risk C-19 conditions, and all essential workers.
Director Hunt issued an update to all area county judges and emergency management directors Wednesday on the vaccination process.
“We received one shipment of the vaccine the week of Christmas and administered vaccines through the Christmas holiday,” said Hunt adding he appreciates the EM Directors’ support during these endeavors. “The initial shipment included 100 doses per county, which was significantly less than what I requested. We received our second shipment of vaccines today for each of our counties. While the allocation was a little larger, it is nowhere near what I would like to see.”
Hunt says he remains hopeful the supply and dispersion of vaccines will increase in the coming weeks.
“We (our community partners) are busy vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and first responders. Hospitals in our service area also received doses of the vaccine, but I am not privy to the allocation they received and how much they have administered,” Hunt said.
The Barren River District Health Department has had a great partnership with the three hospitals in the region to include Logan Memorial Health, Med Center Health, and TJ Regional Health said, Hunt. “I speak weekly and mostly daily with leadership from these three organizations.”
Below is a snapshot of how the vaccines are being administered.
Barren — TJ Regional Health is vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and BRDHD is vaccinating first responders
Butler — BRDHD is vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and first responders
Edmonson — BRDHD is vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and first responders
Hart — BRDHD is vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and first responders
Logan — Logan Memorial Hospital is vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and BRDHD is vaccinating first responders
Metcalfe — BRDHD is vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and first responders
Simpson — Med Center Health and BRDHD are vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and BRDHD is vaccinating first responders
Warren — Med Center Health and community partners (BRDHD included) are vaccinating non-hospital healthcare workers and BRDHD is vaccinating first responders
The rollout schedule has and will probably continue to change based on supply in the state.
“If you see a BRDHD staff member in the community please remind them of the great work they are doing. They are working tirelessly and are well beyond burned out at this point,” said Hunt who also shared the following information concerning vaccinations for the school system:
“The Commonwealth of Kentucky is coordinating efforts with major pharmacy chains to vaccinate K-12 faculty and staff in public and private schools. If a county has a Walmart or Kroger one of these entities will be responsible for vaccinating the faculty and staff. If a county does not have one of these organizations, we will vaccinate the faculty and staff of all public and private schools in the county. I reached out to all the superintendents of the public schools in our district in December to talk through the vaccination program for their faculty and staff. It is estimated that the vaccination program for K-12 faculty and staff will occur in February.”