Thousands of vaccine appointments remain open in Kentucky even as eligibility expands


FILE – In this March 31, 2021, file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine in Uniondale, N.Y. Roughly half the country has opened up vaccine eligibility beyond initial restrictions, vastly expanding the ability for most Americans to get a shot in the arm despite their age or any pre-existing medical conditions. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

All Kentuckians ages 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, with thousands of appointments open across the state.

As the vaccine rollout continues, it feels we’re at the beginning of the end of our hard-fought battle.

“We feel hopeful, we’re moving along at a good steady speed,” says Christina King with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

King says the department is continuing with second doses of the Moderna vaccine, and are now giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. King says the one dose shot is on par with the other two currently on the market. She explains it’s also quickening rollout.

“We’ve noticed a lot of people at our first clinic for the Johnson & Johnson that were telling us, ‘Thank you for doing this one does, I was so afraid to get the shot and knowing I only had to do it once made all of the difference,’” King says.

Still, some say they’re hesitant to get vaccinated. King urges us the shots are both safe and effective.

“We have vaccines for lots of different things. We have a flu vaccine, we have vaccines we get as children for chickenpox, there were the smallpox vaccines. Vaccines are important. They help protect our community and you know we’ve been locked down enough with COVID. It’s time to fight this, it’s time to end this pandemic,” King says.

This is as thousands of appointments are open across the state for all Kentuckians age 16 and older, though some clinics are still focusing on people 18 and up. A tip for making your appointment, King says to check clinic websites for ages currently eligible there.

All part of a process where shot by shot, we can feel a little hope.

“We’re not through the woods yet, we can see that light at the end of the tunnel though,” King says.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has information for making vaccine appointments on their website here.

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