PADUCAH – It will be some time before local health departments are able to offer COVID-19 booster shots to everyone 18 years of age and older. The purchasing district health department says it must wait for state guidance.
Nationally, Moderna and Pfizer have applied to the Food and Drug Administration for permission to provide booster doses to all adults, whether or not they fall into one of the categories approved by the FDA and the Centers for Disease. Control and Prevention. In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear announced on Wednesday that anyone 18 and over who lives or works in Kentucky will be able to receive a COVID-19 reminder.
However, this change will take some time to trickle down to the local level.
The purchasing district health department has Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The McCracken County Health Department location is also a COVID-19 testing site. With almost weekly changes from the CDC and approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, the purchasing district health department has remained busy.
Vaccines, recalls and COVID-19 tests are all administered behind the McCracken County office of the purchasing district health department through its drive-thru clinic. From childhood vaccines to booster shots, the line is mostly long. There will likely be more changes by the end of the week, as the CDC is expected to approve Pfizer’s request to extend recall eligibility to all people 18 and over.
As a health service, the PDHD must wait for state protocols. Then the local medical director must sign. Finally, the PDHD should review the protocol with his staff. Public Health Director Kent Koster said the PDHD currently wears many different hats.
“So it takes a few days longer than, say, a pharmacy that gets a vaccine that doesn’t have to work according to those same protocols,” Koster said.
Unlike health services, local pharmacies, like Davis Drugs, don’t have to wait for state guidelines to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Davis Drugs follows CDC guidelines every time they are published. The pharmacy offers Moderna and J&J vaccines.
Because there are no new guidelines for these vaccines, Marshall Davis of Davis Drugs said the pharmacy has found its rhythm to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are moving fairly slowly. We have a pretty good routine in our immunization clinics,” Davis said.
The purchasing district health department is asking residents of its five-county area to be patient with their county offices when scheduling appointments.