LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — If supply was going to be the first, and perhaps largest obstacle to getting the nation vaccinated against COVID-19, then accessibility was going to be the second concern. The University of Kentucky and its partner Wild Health are hoping to alleviate the latter.
“What we’re trying to do is bring these vaccines to the smaller communities by doing these outreach programs with our partners,” said UK Chief of Police Joe Monroe, who’s also leading the university’s Kroger Field vaccine clinic.
Many of the eleven sites UK has added are already up and running, and others will follow. Berea College students and community members have already benefited from the first clinic held on campus last weekend.
“Not everyone (in town) can make it to the big cities, so definitely an opportunity there. And with our students; looking at our demographics and what we’re serving,” said Berea College Associate Dean of Student Life Collis Robinson.
Robinson said there’s a great deal of interest from student body members in receiving the vaccine, and he felt last week’s initial on-campus clinic worked very efficiently, using the word “seamless” to describe the process. There’s a reason for that.
“We’ve been running Kroger Field (clinic) since January and we’re continually refining that process,” said Monroe.
And now they’re bringing that process to eleven “satellite” locations around the state. In addition to Berea College, the program is - or will be - up and running at Bellarmine University, Center College, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Keeneland, Kentucky State University, Spalding University, Sullivan University, the Toyota Motor Company in Georgetown and Western Kentucky University.
So far, Berea College has hosted just one clinic, but as supply allows, they will be placed on the schedule to do more.
“It’s a start, and something we’re excited about,” said Robinson.
The Kroger Field clinic is still serving more than 4,000 people daily, and that includes those receiving first, and second doses.
“It’s definitely a great thing to be able to bring vaccines to the community,” Robinson added.
It helps alleviate one of the biggest issues officials knew we’d have from the beginning.