Kentucky Department of Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack, M.D., said “We’re not here to experiment on you.” Stack was referring to administering healthy Kentuckians a COVID-19 vaccine that hasn’t been through all the standards of approval.
During today’s COVID-19 briefing, Stack wanted to address questions from reporters both in-house and online. Several of those questions were about the COVID-19 vaccine and the planned ‘roll-out’ by the end of October. Stack said a vaccine that hasn’t completed clinical trials could take a “healthy person and hurt them.” There are ‘no shortcuts’, said Stack.
His comments were in response to the latest statements from the CDC and the federal government about a vaccine going to market before November 1. Stack said that Kentucky will have a coordinated effort with the Federal Government and distribution centers. There will be a very specific timeline.
This coordinated effort between local, state and federal governments will “deploy vaccines in a timely manner.”Stack said, “There will be no vaccine for everybody this year.” The nature of the disease and the vaccine are still unknown. “When it’s time to get a vaccine, we’ll let all Kentuckians know.” said Stack.
In regards to testing, Stack said rapid tests are becoming more easily available. He said some tests are ready and have been through the approval process. Many of the laboratory service providers and the hospitals in Kentucky do a great job, said Stack.
He discussed the saliva test that’s being offered by some providers. Stack said ‘it’s not a miracle test. The ‘no swab’ test isn’t rapid. “You have to drool a lot of spit into a tube. It’s pretty gross and not easy.” Then, it’s shipped to a lab where the process is much more complex. Stack said, “spits sticky and it clogs up the machines. It’s not a panacea but it could be a useful tool.”
Stack briefly shared efforts on school reporting of positive COVID-19 tests and said that as it stands, public health departments are the ones communicating with individuals and the schools. He said the Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Kentucky Department of Education are working together on improving the process of school reporting. He said there's a time delay in reporting cases and they’re working as a team to more ‘closely report in real time.’
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear gave his report on COVID-19 cases. The numbers are available in this article. It was reported that today’s positive cases are the third highest since mid-March.