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Winter weather forces Kentuckiana vaccine sites to press pause on distribution

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 11:37 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A potential ice storm is putting a temporary freeze on Kentuckiana’s COVID-19 vaccination distribution.

Mass vaccination sites in both Kentucky and Indiana paused their operations early Wednesday amid the threat for winter weather.

At Louisville’s Broadbent Arena, 609 people got vaccinated before the building closed at 3 p.m., two hours before its regularly-scheduling closing time. One-hundred and three people were forced to reschedule their appointments for later in the week or for next week.

Some who got their vaccines, however, told WAVE 3 News the process was smoother than ever Wednesday.

“It was much quicker today in there,” said Darcy Wilson, who came for her second dose. “It was much smoother. The wait time was minimal compared to the first dose experience I had. Honestly, I could cry. It’s such a relief.”

Across the river in New Albany, the Floyd County Health Department closed the vaccination site at Indiana University Southeast at 1 p.m. but not before the staff vaccinated double the amount of people than normal. Floyd County Health Officer Dr. Tom Harris told WAVE 3 News his staff vaccinated 600 people Wednesday and rescheduled 50 appointments for next week.

“We’ve got plenty of staff to deal with the extra volume today,” Harris said. “And it’s sort of an all-hands-on-deck thing for the health department as well.”

Despite the changes, Harris said people who had to reschedule will be guaranteed a vaccine upon their return.

“We’re not giving away your vaccine,” Harris said. “If you can’t get in, we’re holding the vaccine. We’ll get it to you next week when you can come in.

Harris also had a message for people who had to reschedule their appointments for their second doses.

“You don’t need to worry. It’s perfectly fine to get it up to two weeks from the planned date. There are some extenuating circumstances where you can even go out longer than that. So, it doesn’t have to be exactly 28 days for Moderna. It doesn’t have to be exactly 21 days for Pfizer. There is some wiggle room in there and we’ll try to get your shot as close to the 28th as possible, but it’s not a critical thing.”

The Floyd County Health Department is scheduled to resume vaccinations on Monday.

A Metro Public Health spokesperson told WAVE 3 News vaccine distribution may continue Thursday or be postponed further depending on recommendations from the National Weather Service.

Metro Public Health is expected to release more information early Thursday morning.

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