LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three weeks after it opened, UofL Health began giving out second doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the Cardinal Stadium site Monday.
The more than 3,000 people who got the first dose on the opening day of the site were expected to return for their second shot, but UofL Health is also still provided first doses.
At mid-morning, a steady stream of cars moved through the state's largest mass vaccination site.
Ethan Nordquist was among getting their second dose.
“Having the vaccine reassures me that I'm not going to get sick with anything, and I feel protected with it,” Nordquist said.
Across the country, around 8% of those getting their first shot do not show up for the second.
“That second dose is important,” said Dr. Hugh Shoff, associate chief medical director for U of L Hospital. “You're going from around a 50-60% coverage with the first dose up to 95%.
Shoff said he'll soon know more whether second dose no-shows is going to be a concern here at Cardinal Stadium
“Historically, what I've seen in all our other locations is most people do come back for the second dose,” he said.
Overall, the number of appointments has dropped dramatically here at the site. Just before the Kentucky Derby, only 400-500 people a day were coming through the facility, which is equipped to handle 4,000.
Now, the site has begun accepting drop-ins.
“It's great to sign up ahead of time, but we'll take walk-ups, big cars, vans,” Schoff said.
Following a tour of a U of L laboratory that helped research the vaccines, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell called the dropping vaccine rate, “disturbing.”
“I don't know what else we can do other than make it available,” McConnell said. “Apparently, we have plenty of supply.”
Shoff said the next step is getting that supply into doctors' offices.
“Making it so it's very convenient," he said. "If somebody comes in for an appointment or for any reason, 'Hey, we have the ability to vaccinate you today if you want it.'"
Shoff said reaching younger Kentuckians is a particular challenge.
On Monday, members of the Louisville Xtreme indoor football team rolled up their sleeves as an example to young people and to athletes.
“If it’s good for us, why not everybody else?” defensive end Rodney Gnat said. “If I can do what I can to help, who would I be if I didn’t.”
Nordquist, 18, had one simple piece of advice for people his age who are hesitant to get the vaccine.
“Just do it," he said.
Anyone age 16 and older is eligible to get the shot. To sign up, CLICK HERE.
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