Mayor Linda Gorton and Fayette Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh have organized a Vaccine Task Force to help streamline distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We want to do everything we can to get shots into the arms of Lexington citizens as soon as possible,” Gorton said. “And we want to do it right by putting those who are most vulnerable to serious complications from COVID at the front of the line to get a vaccine. I want Lexington to be the model for vaccine distribution by providing a transparent, safe and efficient process.” The Task Force had its first meeting Tuesday.
One of the most important steps is bringing in someone to manage the logistical challenges and coordinate distribution. “We are hiring a project manager from the private sector to help lead this effort,” Gorton said. “Chuck Mix is an expert in logistics who has worked for some of our city’s largest employers.”
The Task Force, co-chaired by Mix and Dr. Humbaugh, will work with state and federal government to streamline the distribution process at the local level. “The state and the federal governments have a lot to do with how the vaccine is distributed in our City,” Gorton said. “They determine how much vaccine we get, when we get it, and set priorities for how it is distributed. Within that framework, we will work at the local level to make sure the distribution is efficient and timely.” For example, one of the goals of the Task Force will be developing plans to offer vaccination sites around the City, specifically to provide equitable access to the vaccine.
Many members of the Task Force have been involved in coordinating Lexington’s response to the pandemic since March, when Lexington got its first case. They have also been heavily involved in vaccine planning for months and have been administering vaccines for several weeks now. The effort now is to make sure all critical entities are coordinating appropriately to manage the task of providing large scale distribution to the community. “While there are a lot of familiar faces on this group, we have added people who are involved in vaccine distribution, for example representatives of our pharmaceutical industry,” Gorton said.