LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on hold for the moment, Governor Andy Beshear said there is enough supply to keep up with vaccine demand in Kentucky.
Though clinics like those at University of Kentucky and in some rural counties have been impacted, Beshear said the state has a plan.
"Get a vaccine, it's incredibly important during this period of time and we cannot let this slow us down and it shouldn't," Beshear said.
Beshear announced a goal Monday to remove COVID-19 capacity restrictions on some businesses if 2.5 million people get their first dose in three or four to six weeks. Despite the J&J pause, he said he is still confident.
"Just about everything out there is Pfizer and Moderna," Beshear said. "[The pause] is going to impact independent pharmacies, which were helping us on the J&J. We’re going to work with them to try to make sure that if this pause goes for more than a couple of days we can get them supplies over time."
Out of an abundance of caution, the University of Kentucky temporarily paused administering the J&J vaccine at Gatton Student Center. The site has been open for a week giving out 200 doses a day.
"Kroger Field, where we do about 4,000 shots a day, we do Pfizer primarily, so we were able to take some of our Pfizer supply and shift it to the Student Center," spokesperson Jay Blanton said. "We are still able to meet the needs of people who want to get vaccinated."
Blanton said UK has enough doses for those who already registered for an appointment so students can still show up to Gatton Student Center.
Norton Central District Health Department was planning to administer J&J vaccines at two clinics next week in Henry, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble Counties.
"We do feel like we can effectively get supply from the state but also collaborate with other health departments in the state to figure out ways to get the vaccine where it needs to be," Dr. Stephanie Lokits said.
The Moderna vaccine will be the replacement at the two clinics. Lokits said they are not worried about supply but the pause impacts their goal.
"We still have a lot of people that need to be vaccinated," she said.
Beshear said since the rollout, Kentucky has received 210,000 doses of the J&J vaccine. He said mass vaccination sites will not be impacted because there are plenty of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines available.
"Yes we can get you the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine," Beshear said. "Actually, we can get everybody who wants a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in the next four to five weeks."