Broadbent Arena

Pictured: Aerial view of Broadbent Arena (WDRB/file)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville officials say the city is seeing progress with COVID-19 and is gearing up to open a mass vaccination site.

The drive-thru site will be at Broadbent Arena and is scheduled to open on Monday, Jan. 4. At maximum capacity, it's expected to be able to vaccinated 1,200 people a day.

"We'll be giving out everything we've got as quickly as we can," said Dr. SaraBeth Hartlage, interim medical director for the city.

It will take 200 individual volunteers and staff members to run it.

The city says it's still working to get through the first round of vaccinations, which include healthcare workers, first responders and nursing home facilities.

The drive-thru site will be open only to people who meet those conditions, for the time being. It will eventually open up to the general public when that phase begins -- but that will likely take some time. 

The health department says if no more companies develop vaccines, in addition to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it's likely the vaccination won't be widely available to the general public until the end of the summer or fall of next year.

Dr. Hartlage says they will be checking to make sure no one sneaks ahead of the line. Currently, they are only distributing scheduled invitations via employers.

"It's a drive-thru site, but it's also semi-indoors, so that our staff aren't totally exposed to the elements," said Dr. Hartlage. "The weather and time of year can be a challenge."

Louisville's health department got its first delivery of the Moderna vaccine last week. On Monday, the department vaccinated 110 EMTs and healthcare workers.

The plan is to hit 500 by Friday.

Once the Broadbent Arena site opens, the goal is 1,000 the first week. That number is expected to go up each week. At full capacity, the expectation is to vaccinate 1,200 people daily.

"Six-hundred first doses and 600 second doses -- so that would be 1,200 total people per day at capacity," said Dr. Hartlage.

The health department says it's working to set up other mass vaccination sites across the city.

"As supply increases, we'll be able to get multiple sites of administration going at the same time," said Dr. Hartlage.

Copyright 2020 by WDRB Media. All rights reserved.