Carter County residents who are 70 years old or older will be the next people eligible to receive a Covid 19 vaccination according to Carter County Health Department officials.
By the end of the day today (January 13, 2021), more than 200 Covid 19 vaccinations will have been administered by the local health department staff. The vaccines are being provided at no cost.
“We could charge an administrative fee to bill insurance companies, but now’s not the time to do that,” said Carter County Health Director Jeff Barker as he and Nurse Administrator Jana McGlone provided an update on local Covid 19 conditions.
The vaccine has already been provided to staff and residents at Carter Nursing & Rehab, Barker said, noting those vaccinations were made possible by Walgreen’s. Otherwise, local first responders including police officers, fire fighters, EMS and ambulance crews were the first to receive the vaccine, followed by “non-hospital health care workers.”
The county health department currently receives 100 doses of the vaccine each week, McGlone and Barker said, even though they officially request twice that amount. The county’s elderly population will be the next eligible to take it.
“We have a list of more than 500 of 70-plus … 551 people are already on the list,” McGlone said, noting many of those residents called in to make appointments as soon as the local department announced the vaccinations would be available.
With each new shipment of vaccine, health officials will return to the top of the tier (first responders etc) before offering it to the next category (in this case, people 70 and over).
The next vaccination tier will be people who work inside school buildings. Barker said staff from King’s Daughters Medical Center will work directly with school staff to administer the vaccines when it becomes available, possible “around the first of February.”
Carter County Schools have requested more than 500 doses, Barker said, with five vaccinations sought by Carter Christian Academy. Kentucky Christian University is “not on the list at this time,” he said, noting students and staff will become eligible for vaccination according to the established tier system.
Vaccinations for school workers will not take away from the county’s 100 dose per week allocations, Barker noted.
McGlone and Barker smile as they talk about the different attitudes people have regarding the vaccine and related conspiracy theories. Local vaccinations, however, have been well received.
“We’ve had some sore arms. A few said they got sick after, but most of them already had been exposed,” McGlone said, explaining possible effects of the vaccine. With a chuckle, she added “My arm was VERY sore.”
The local health officials said they are also aware of questions about differences between local Covid 19 statistics and numbers reported by state health officials. Barker said he was to blame for part of that due to a number he recorded incorrectly, along with a lag in state officials updating information from individual counties.
“Not all of the deaths have been recorded by state officials yet,” Barker said.
Local residents who are more than 70 years old and want to receive a Covid 19 vaccination are urged to call 606.474.5109 and “ask to be put on the 70-Plus list.”