UK to close Kroger Field vaccination site as demand drops off

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – For more than three months, thousands of Kentuckians have come to Kroger Field to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

“We have issued out or administered over 240,000 doses,” said UK Police Chief Joe Monroe with UK Crisis Management Response.

It was a smooth operation to build up Kentucky’s immunity to COVID-19, but now with vaccine demand dropping, the mass vaccination site is shutting down.

“At this point, we don’t feel like a large mass vaccination site is needed, nor is it efficient or effective to keep it in operation,” Monroe said.

Up until about a month ago, the Kroger Field location was giving out about 4,000 vaccinations a day, now they’re lucky if they reach a thousand.

“This week I think we have two days that we’re a little over a thousand, the rest are under a thousand. Next week is even lower, so we knew the time was coming,” Monroe said.

Based on data released by the state Tuesday, there were only just over 1,500 new vaccinations statewide since Monday. During his COVID-19 briefings, Governor Andy Beshear spotlighted mass vaccination locations that have hundreds, if not more, appointments open.

Chief Monroe says when the governor mentioned the openings, some would fill up, but not enough to justify keeping the site open while still getting shots into arms.A

“We’re not completely getting away from giving shots. This is going to be an ongoing process. We’re just downscaling it to a smaller footprint,” Monroe said.

COVID testing is also still available at Kroger Field through June. There is no date set for when vaccinations will transition to the UK Healthcare clinics, but Chief Monroe says it will likely be before Memorial Day.

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