HARTFORD, Ky. (WEHT) – The arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes as more Kentuckians become eligible to get their first doses.
The state entered Phase 1C today.
“You just have to wait until it’s your turn to come around,” said Keith Whitten, who got his first dose today at Ohio County Healthcare in Hartford. After waiting for six weeks to get the call, and ten minutes at the hospital, he and his wife, Linda, got their first vaccine doses.
“We got that call Friday, last week,” he recalled. “They got on real quick.”
“It’s really going to be a relief to know that we have some type of protection now,” Linda added.
Their vaccinations happened as the commonwealth entered Phase 1C, which includes those 60 and older, people 16 and older with conditions putting them at risk of severe illness, and all essential workers.
“Some of them, they want to wait a little bit, but for the most part, I think everybody is on board, so we’re just ready to get on with this,” said Shannon Coots, who works at First United Bank, and who set up an appointment to get a vaccine.
CeCe Robinson of Ohio County Healthcare says they’ve administered 500 doses the past six days to those in Phases 1B and 1C. The hospital is scheduled out for the next 12 days, but the arrival of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine means more doses, and more places to get them across Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear announced 130 independent pharmacies such as Rice Pharmacy in Ohio County will start administering vaccines.
“This vaccine in our pharmacies is another way to ensure access to all corners of the state, even those that struggle with transportation,” said David Figg of Rice Pharmacy.
Governor Beshear also says more than 700,000 Kentuckians already got their first dose, and that number cold double through march because of increasing supplies.
“For everything we have done, from when they started trickling out on December 15th, up until the end of February, we may be able to double at the end of March, moving into April, and in April, it can pick up even more,” he said.
(This story was originally published on March 1, 2021)