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Demand for COVID-19 vaccine is high while availability is low

Health departments across the Commonwealth are finding ways to deal with low allotments of the vaccine.

OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — Across Kentucky, we are seeing that vaccine demand is high, while availability is low. 

The Oldham County Health Department confirmed they will be suspending vaccinations for those 70 and older while they focus on school employees. 

According to Matthew Rhodes, Oldham County Director of Public Health, they received 1800 doses for their teachers. They asked for 600 more to vaccinate the elderly, but that request was denied. 

It is common theme among  in the Commonwealth, health departments are not receiving the total amount of vaccine they request. 

The Breckinridge County Health Department is dealing with a similar supply issue. Their director, 

Their director Scott Shrewsberry says if you can find another place to get the vaccine, seize the opportunity.

"If they can get a vaccine in another place besides the health department we encourage them to do that. We don't really care where you get it, as long as people are wanting to receive the vaccine," he said. 

Shrewsberry says it can be frustrating to not receive the allotment they are hoping for, but he understands the process. 

"We try our best to be a team player, and not complain if we get as much as Louisville or get our people done first," he said. 

Shrewsberry said cities like Louisville and Lexington, have more frontline healthcare workers, and teachers than small counties like Breckinridge. But he is asking everyone to be patient as health departments follow the orders they have been given. 

"We are not trying to neglect those 70 and above, we are not trying to neglect anyone with any underlying health issues."

Oldham County will be focusing on teachers for the next two weeks. 

Rhodes said he understands and knows the evidence suggests those 70 and up should get the vaccine. He said, "The health department is prepared to vaccinate that age group, they are just waiting on more doses to be sent out." 

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