Kentucky is ramping up to provide COVID vaccines in regional drive-through vaccination clinics. Governor Andy Beshear announced Thursday afternoon that Kroger partnered with the state to operate the high-volume sites beginning the week of February 1. Former Lexington Mayor and Transportation Secretary Jim Gray will head up the state’s vaccination effort. He promised on Thursday, “Every Kentuckian will have access to the vaccine, and everyone will have their turn.”
Gray said Kentucky Emergency Management is still working to secure sites for the regional locations. Once finalized, people can schedule appointments online. Additionally, Gray reported that a hotline will allow Kentuckians to learn when they are eligible for the vaccine.
Beshear noted that the first round of vaccines provided at the clinics will be for people in phases 1A, 1B and 1C. He pointed out that Kentucky is currently vaccinating ahead of schedule and expects to have K-12 personnel vaccinated by February 1. However, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack warned that Phase 2 probably will not happen until the summer of 2021.
The state will release more information on drive-through vaccination opportunities on January 28, which is when people who meet current vaccination qualifications may schedule a date and time to get a shot.
Thursday’s COVID report included 4,084 new cases and 51 deaths. Kentucky’s death toll has now surpassed 3,000. Beshear stated that a ceremony will be held in the coming days to recognize the grim milestone.
The governor also revealed that he activated the Kentucky National Guard to help provide security during the upcoming presidential inauguration of Joe Biden. The 270 soldiers will be used in Washington, D.C., and other soldiers will help secure the Kentucky State Capitol.