LEXINGTON, KY (STL.News) Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Kroger Health opened the state’s regional vaccination site at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Fayette County, as the state continues to ramp up its ability to vaccinate more Kentuckians.
Today, approximately 600 Kentuckians are scheduled to receive their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Each week the site is expected to vaccinate more than 3,000 Kentuckians with the priority going to those who are 70 and older.
“This is an exciting day for Kentucky. Through this new and growing partnership with Kroger Health we will be able to vaccinate more and more Kentuckians as we receive more supply from the federal government. Our number one issue continues to be supply,” the Governor said. “We are on track to vaccinate Kentuckians faster than the federal government sends us doses for the fourth straight week. As we await more doses, we need everyone to know that they will get a turn and right now we’re prioritizing vaccines for Kentuckians who are 70 and older.”
“Thanks to Gov. Beshear,” Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said. “Our citizens are eager to get the vaccine when it’s their turn, and the regional center provides even more access. The vaccine gives us hope of getting our children back to school, getting our economy back up and running at full speed, and interacting with friends and family again.”
Gov. Beshear added that Kentuckians in phases 1A and 1B remain eligible for vaccination and, as vaccine quantities and available appointment times allow, people in phase 1C also may be scheduled, to ensure each vaccination site administers 90% or more of all vaccine doses received within seven days of arrival.
Gov. Beshear said Kentucky, through its partnership with Kroger, established a national model for COVID-19 testing and will break ground again on vaccinations.
Ann Reed, Louisville division president for Kroger, who shared more information about the regional site, joined the Governor on Tuesday.
Reed said: “Kroger Health is excited and ready to begin our vaccination clinic today. Our team of health professionals has been working diligently to provide a great experience for all those receiving the vaccine. Today is just the beginning. We will continue to support Kentucky’s phased approach through mass drive-through events, focusing first on priority populations, and work diligently to make sure every Kentuckian who wants a vaccine receives one.”
The site was opened early Tuesday to allow local media to visit and photograph prior to the public arriving. Once vaccinations begin, the site will only be open to those with appointments and site staff.
Kentuckians can be vaccinated by appointment only, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday the week of Feb. 1, then from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday beginning the week of Feb. 8.
Transportation Cabinet Secretary and director of the Vaccine Distribution Project Jim Gray said: “Getting upward of 2-and-a-half million Kentuckians vaccinated within the year represents, perhaps, the largest logistical challenge in our lifetimes, and eventually it will involve sites – both high-capacity sites and local community settings – all over the commonwealth. Many moving pieces came together to open the first regional site, which will help us get this important vaccine into the arms of thousands of Kentuckians every week.”
Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said: “The success of our regional vaccine sites is possible through partnerships fostered by Team Kentucky, highlighting our longstanding public-private relationship with Kroger Health in establishing our past mobile drive-through testing program. Thanks to all of our local, state, federal and private sector alliances for engaging in a safer tomorrow.”
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman had the honor of introducing the first person to receive their vaccination at the site.
“Today is another great day in the commonwealth because we take another step in defeating the coronavirus,” the Lieutenant Governor said. “I am honored to introduce Paul French, the first person to be vaccinated at the Kentucky Horse Park. Mr. French is a veteran, proud Kentuckian, father and a grandfather. His Shot of Hope will ensure he can safely spend time with those who he loves the most.”
Kentucky Horse Park Regional Site Sign-Up (Currently Prioritizing 70+)
Kroger regional site appointments can be scheduled directly at Kroger.com/covidvaccine or call 866-211-5320. Kentuckians also can be directed to contact Kroger through the state’s vaccine.ky.gov website. This site will vaccinate 3,000 Kentuckians in the first week, approximately 600 people per day. New appointments are added to the website around 6 a.m. daily.
“The Kentucky Horse Park is a staple in the Lexington community, and we are honored to be a partner in the state’s emergency response efforts to defeat COVID-19,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “As we continue to be united in our efforts to defeat the virus, we believe this is our opportunity to share the park with our fellow Kentuckians by repurposing our facility to provide vaccination distribution to the citizens of the commonwealth.”
“The Kentucky Horse Park is committed to offering full support to Kroger and Kentucky Emergency Management during this unprecedented time. Now more than ever, we stand at ready and our team looks forward to providing a safe and secure location for the citizens of the commonwealth to receive vaccinations,” Kentucky Horse Park Deputy Executive Director Jonathan Lang.
Find a Vaccine Website
By answering a series of questions on the new vaccine.ky.gov website, which is protected and secure, Kentuckians can determine if they are currently eligible for a vaccine and if so will be directed to a map that shows available vaccine sites across the state. As vaccine supplies increase, more sites will be added to the map and announced.
Kentuckians not currently eligible or unable to locate an available vaccine are encouraged to sign up for text or email updates by entering their name, county of residence and an email or phone number at vaccine.ky.gov. The sign-up is not a wait list or appointment scheduler, but aims to provide alerts when a person’s eligibility changes, or, for example, when vaccines are available in an area.
Find a Vaccine Hotline
In addition to the Find a Vaccine website, a new hotline is open to help Kentuckians who do not have access to the internet or a computer or need additional assistance. The hotline – 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for hard-of-hearing Kentuckians) – is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.