Moderna vaccine on the way to Kentucky following FDA approval

Published: Dec. 19, 2020 at 9:30 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentuckians have watched as the Pfizer vaccine made its way inside hospital doors across the state, and now, it’s Moderna’s turn.

Following the FDA’s approval for emergency use, Governor Andy Beshear said we could see shipments in Kentucky as soon as Monday.

76,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected this week of Christmas.

“The vast majority of that are going to acute care hospitals all over the Commonwealth,” Governor Beshear said.

St. Claire HealthCare in Morehead is expecting its first shipment Monday.

“We also have a large, older, vulnerable population in rural Kentucky that needs vaccination desperately,” said Dr. William Melahn.

Medical staff there voted to make the vaccine a requirement for physicians.

“Our nursing staff in the intensive care unit, emergency department, our physicians who provide direct COVID care, or environmental service workers, people who clean the rooms and get rid of the COVID virus that’s in the rooms, our respiratory therapists,” he said. “It takes a lot of people to take care of a sick person.”

Another 33,800 doses are scheduled to arrive between Dec. 27 and New Years Eve.

“The first couple weeks of January, if not all of January, will still be going to those most at need populations,” Governor Beshear said.

Moderna’s vaccine is authorized for those 18 and older, whereas Pfizer’s was approved for people 16 and up.

Pfizer’s boxes were carefully placed into fridges set at arctic temperatures. State health officials have said there’s only so much ultra cold storage available.

Moderna’s vaccine has different requirements.

The Laurel County Health Department has eight coolers set aside already.

“We know those vaccines will come in hundred dose increments, 10 vials per shipment,” said director Mark Hensley.

Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s requires a booster, at least 28 days later.

School districts in the state are signing up school employees to get the vaccine next. Those choosing to opt out of this first round have to wait to be vaccinated with the general public.

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