Transportation Secretary Jim Gray testifies to Senate committee about state vaccine program

Earlier Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Jim Gray, the state’s program coordinator testified...
Earlier Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Jim Gray, the state’s program coordinator testified in front of a Senate committee.(WKYT)
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 9:52 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - We have an update on where Kentucky is at in the vaccination process. Earlier Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Jim Gray, the state’s program director testified in front of a Senate committee.

He said although rollout has gone at an unprecedented speed, it’s supply that’s slowing the state down.

Secretary Gray said by the end of this week, nearly half a million Kentuckians will be vaccinated.

He told the Senate Standing Committee on Health and Welfare he’s hopeful distribution will only get faster in the coming months.

He says Kentucky doesn’t have a capacity issue, it’s a supply issue. He says the state has more than 1,500 eligible providers and the commonwealth gets 63,000 vaccines a week.

Secretary Gray says this week all 61 local health departments are receiving 1/3 of that weekly allocation. He says the biggest issue is logistics.

“If we were to take all of the vaccines that were allocated and divided them by the 1,500 eligible providers, that would give roughly 40 vaccines per provider,” Secretary Gray said.

Some Senators brought attention to concerns about rural communities feeling neglected in the vaccine distribution process.

“I would propose that our rural counties probably have more than 1/3 of the population of the state. Those are people who often have worse health than we have in the big cities,” Senator Ralph Alvarado said.

Secretary Gray explained that distribution wouldn’t work with the way Pfizer and Moderna plates are delivered.

He said one major goal in this project is to keep Kentuckians from driving more than one county away for their shots.

Gray says if we continue at the rate we’re going, it could take 22 months for the first and second dose to be distributed. But with companies like Pfizer promising more output at a faster rate, he’s hopeful the process will speed up.

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