Moderna vaccine is here, Medical Center at Albany staff first to be vaccinated

Posted December 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm

Dr. Gibson Gets shot.psd

Dr Wilson Gets Shot.psd

The first vials of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna arrived at The Medical Center at Albany last week. Dr. Michael Wilson, above, Chief of Staff and Emergency Department, was the first to receive the vaccine, while Dr. Shirley Gibson, below, was second. About 30 staff members were vaccinated on the first day.

There was a little promising news in the past week in regards to the case numbers of COVID-19 that have been reported for Clinton County by the Lake Cumberland District Health Department.

For the first time in several weeks, the number of cases that were released from the rolls here, during a week long period, was slightly more than the number of new cases that were added to the list as current,or active.

As of Tuesday morning, there had been 83 new cases added to the active list during the past seven days, compared to 89 cases that had been removed from the county’s totals.

The saddest news from last week’s report was the additional two deaths reported since last Tuesday’s report.

Officials will have to wait and see if the trend continues in coming weeks, or if the totals were perhaps skewed due to the Christmas holiday schedule last week, which saw health department officials take two well-deserved days off, with no case reports on Thursday and Friday (Christmas Day).

A second bright spot in last week’s COVID-19 news was the arrival of the very first vials of the Moderna vaccine that is now being given to front line health care workers in the county and is being touted as the “light at the end of the tunnel” in regards to the pandemic that has swept across the world, including the first case that reached Kentucky in early March.

As is being reported this week by the Clinton County News, Dr. Michael Wilson, Chief of Staff at The Medical Center at Albany, and Dr. Shirley Gibson, received the first two vaccinations last week.

Medical Center officials told the Clinton County News they expected to complete vaccinations for 30 front line health workers in the first day after the vaccine had arrived at the facility.

Additional vaccinations will continue for front line workers and nursing home residents as additional vials arrive in the county.

No schedule for additional vaccinations or a timeline for the next round of vaccinations has been released as of press time Tuesday.

As for current COVID-19 cases in Clinton County, as of Tuesday morning, the LCDHD was reporting that there were 85 active cases in Clinton County, 11 of which involved patients who were being treated in area hospitals, one fewer than was reported as being hospitalized a week ago.

Clinton County had the highest seven day incident rate per 100,000 people in the 10 county LCDHD district, with 117.44 cases.

Still, that current seven day rate for Clinton County was slightly lower than the rate reported the previous week, which was 131.42.

Clinton County has remained in the red zone for 88 consecutive days.

As of Tuesday morning, all 10 of the LCDHD counties were still listed as being in the critical spread range, or the “red zone”, the highest level of spread on that scale.

For two days last week, two of the 10 counties dropped below the threshold of 25 cases in that scale, with Casey and Adair dropping out of the red zone on Saturday and Sunday, before moving back into the highest level of incident rate again with Monday evening’s report.

Following Clinton County’s rate of 117.44 in the seven day incident rate was: Wayne 95.55; McCreary 94.51; Pulaski 53.64; Green 49.62; Taylor 44.35; Cumberland 41.04; Russell 31.09; Adair 26.04; Casey 25.64.

In addition to Clinton County’s 85 current COVID-19 cases, other counties in the LCDHD region’s case counts, and the number of hospitalized patients in parentheses: Adair 40 (7); Casey 30 (5); Cumberland 22 (2); Green 33 (2); McCreary 126 (8); Pulaski 235 (18); Russell 36 (3); Taylor 101 (4); Wayne 156 (12).

In regards to the arrival of vials of the Moderna vaccine across the LCDHD district, in its Monday evening Public Information Media Briefing, spokesperson Amy Tomlinson did offer some insight into the delivery and what the immediate future might hold for area residents.

“It is my understanding that all the nursing homes in our area are now scheduled for vaccination, and the first doses should be given in all the facilities by the second week of January, Tomlinson reported Monday evening. “Hospitals are also receiving shipments of vaccine for their staff. The local health department has received vaccine to focus on health care workers. Our health departments have administered over 70% of our supply and expect to have the remainder exhausted by close of business Wednesday.

“We have also requested additional vaccine for medical staff in two of our counties. According to Dr. Stack, the Kentucky Public Health Commissioner, the Phase 1b vaccination priority groups will be first responders, K-12 faculty and staff, and persons over 70. As soon as additional vaccine is available, we will begin targeting these groups, as well as finishing up with any health care related employees.”

Tomlinson also urged all residents to continue to take precautions to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“Until the vaccine is widely available, let’s all do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by wearing our face coverings, avoiding crowds (especially in confined spaces), social distancing when around others, increasing our hand hygiene, increasing our general sanitation, and by avoiding the touching of our faces,” Tomlinson said.

Since the pandemic first reached this region in early March, the LCDHD has tallied a total of 13,170 cases, with 244 deaths, while Clinton County has seen a total of 849 cases, with 19 COVID-19 related deaths.