BCHD awaiting state guidance to determine who will be vaccinated during Phase 1b

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While front-line health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities continue to be immunized during Phase 1a of Boone County’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, specifics regarding who will be able to receive a vaccine during Phase 1b and when are still being decided.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance that suggested residents 75 and older and front-line health care workers who were not immunized during Phase 1a receive vaccines during Phase 1b.

“I know some states have lowered the 75 age to 65,” BCHD Administrator and Nursing and Vital Records Director Lisa Younts said. The state is reviewing that right now, and they said that they may be lowering that age as well, but we are waiting for the state to pass that information down to us.”

Younts said the county is awaiting the state’s formal recommendation before announcing whom in Boone County will receive vaccinations during the phase.

“As of right now, we don’t know who we will be vaccinating,” Younts said.

BCHD officials hoped to receive more information on the matter during a webinar with state health officials Jan. 4. During the webinar, state officials announced additional front-line health care workers, law enforcement and others who deal directly with COVID-19 patients would be allowed to receive vaccinations starting this week, but the state stopped short of unfurling its full Phase 1b recommendations, according to BCHD officials.

The BCHD hopes to begin Phase 1b vaccinations Jan. 12 at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds, according to BCHD Public Health Educator Claire Haughton. BCHD officials aim to eventually administer vaccines Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., but they warn the number of vaccines the county receives will limit the department’s initial hours during Phase 1b.

Boone County health officials said the county would receive an initial shipment of between 100 and 200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 11. After receiving the initial shipment, Younts said the department expects to receive a shipment every week. But she said the BCHD would not be receiving any shipments of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine because the vaccine requires ultra-cold storage (Moderna’s vaccine can be stored at regular freezer temperatures).

For more, including information from the state on who can currently be vaccinated, visit coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/index.htm.


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