LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Monday health officials in Louisville began administering doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers at the city's mass vaccination site at Broadbent Arena, at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center.
The site will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For now, vaccinations will be available, by appointment only, to people in the Tier 1A group, which includes physicians, nurses, dentists, occupational and physical therapists, medical lab personnel, audiologists, home health personnel, and mortuary personnel, among others.
The site is not currently operating at full capacity, but once it is, officials expect to vaccinate about a thousand people a day.
In addition to the drive-thru lanes, a pedestrian lane for walk-ups will also be available as the vaccinations progress.
The site features three stations: the first one is where people are checked in and screened. At the second station, the vaccine will be received while individuals remain seated in their vehicles. The third station, a parking area, is where the vaccinated individual must remain for 15 minutes of observation to ensure there are no adverse reactions.
Health officials say they expect to provide about 1,000 doses this week, according to Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, the health department's associate medical director.
"Our focus right now is on healthcare workers, but we expect to move into Tier 1B, which includes non-medical first responders, educators, corrections staff and adults over the age of 70, in early February," Hartlage said in a written statement.
It's not yet clear when the vaccines will be available to the general public.
"I know it's frustrating to not know when or how you might get vaccinated, but we are building this plane as it takes off, and right now our priority is those healthcare workers, and this is how we can do it the quickest," Hartlage said.
Nurses with Louisville's Department of Public Health and Wellness, as well as nurse volunteers from the Kentucky Nurses Association, are administering the vaccines, along with volunteers from other groups.
"This is a wonderful facility for administering the vaccine," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer told reporters during a news briefing Monday morning.
Fischer said that although vaccinations are currently limited to healthcare workers, in the weeks and months to come, that pool will be broadened until it eventually will include anyone who wants a vaccine.
"Not everybody is gonna get vaccinated, but most everybody is going to get vaccinated," Fischer acknowledged, adding that there are roughly 780,000 people in Louisville and "that's a lot of shots in a lot of arms."
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