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Officials say K-12 personnel should receive vaccine ‘very soon’

January 22, 2021 | 12:08 am

Updated January 21, 2021 | 10:18 pm

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Teachers and school personnel are expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine “very soon,” according to officials with the Green River District Health Department. After those are administered, officials said their next focus will be on vaccinating vulnerable populations living in homeless shelters and the Daviess County Detention Center.

According to GRDHD Director Clay Horton, school personnel who elected to receive a vaccine should begin receiving them the week of Feb. 1. 

Horton said those doses will be administered through Walmart — one of three businesses involved in a federal partnership to vaccinate those in the education system. 

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During a virtual meeting hosted by Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Candance Brake, Horton explained that school systems located in rural areas would receive their vaccines through local health departments, while those in more populated areas would get shots through either Walmart or Kroger. 

“That program is in motion and that planning is taking place,” Horton said. “Those individuals will be vaccinated very soon.” 

The health department began administering COVID-19 vaccinations to schools in Hancock, McLean and Webster counties this week.  

When asked by Brake when janitorial staff would receive their vaccinations, Horton said those working for the school systems should be included in the state’s 1B category along with teachers and administrators. 

As for vulnerable populations such as homeless individuals and jail inmates, Horton said he expected those individuals to be the health department’s next priority after the school system. 

“A lot of our effort will be put on seeking out those individuals [in homeless shelters],” he said. “Jails too will be given priority.” 

Earlier this month, it was announced the planned vaccination phases in Kentucky are:

Phase 1a: Long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, health care personnel
Phase 1b: First responders, Kentuckians age 70 or older, K-12 school personnel
Phase 1c: Kentuckians age 60 or older, anyone older than 16 with CDC highest-risk conditions for COVID-19, all essential workers
Phase 2: Age 40 and older
Phase 3: Age 16 and older
Phase 4: Children under the age of 16 if the vaccine is approved for this age group (estimated to comprise 18% of Kentucky’s population)

January 22, 2021 | 12:08 am

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