LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Ahead of Cardinal Stadium's big launch on April 12, some University of Louisville staff members were vaccinated Thursday and Friday to put the site to the test.
The site has a total of 28 lanes and is capable of vaccinating 4,000 Kentuckians a day.
Health officials said appointments for April 12-13 are already booked up, but several thousand more are available for the following days.
As of Friday, only 9,000 appointments had been made in total. The site is scheduled to stay open for seven weeks, and if appointments were available for five days a week, at least 140,000 doses could be administered.
The problem now is getting people to sign up for appointments.
U of L Hospital Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hugh Shoff said the site is working to reach out to those in younger age groups who have been less quick to get in line.
"We've reached out to students already, letting them know that this is here. We're working with campus health," Shoff said. "It doesn't take a lot of time out of your day. I know when you're young, you're excited. You have a lot of things going on. Please sign up. Come out and get it taken care of. Help us get to that point we want to be at."
Shoff said they timed the process Friday, and it took 21 minutes — including the wait period after getting the vaccine — for someone to complete the entire vaccination process.
"When you do get here to make it easy, if you have your ID, if you have an insurance card, great," Shoff said. "If not, don't worry about it."
Those under 18 will also need to have a parent or guardian with them.
Shoff said getting more Kentuckians vaccinated is key to getting back to life as it was before the pandemic.
"It would really mean we get more people vaccinated and protected, which ultimately reduces the ability of the virus to spread from person to person, reduces the likelihood we get more variants in our community, in which case we really worry about more of that spread and people getting sick," Shoff said.
The site has a freezer to store vaccines and prevent extra doses from being thawed. This way, Shoff said unused doses can be brought back to the hospital without going to waste.
Site officials said those who participated in the trial run were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but the site will administer the Pfizer vaccine beginning Monday.
"If it comes to where the state has to adjust, and we need to start using Johnson & Johnson or maybe Moderna, we have the ability to do that," Shoff said.
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