Baptist Health La Grange opens regional vaccination site

Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 6:24 PM EST
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LA GRANGE, Ky. (WAVE) - The COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to expand in Kentucky.

As of Wednesday, more than one million people have received at least one dose.

On Wednesday, Baptist Health La Grange expanded the rollout even further, opening a regional vaccination site close to the hospital.

A Baptist Health spokesperson said the goal is to vaccinate roughly 1,100 people weekly at the new site.

Omar Attum and his wife Ericka Makhlouf were among the first to receive their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday.

“[I’m] relieved, that I’m one step closer to being fully vaccinated,” Allum said.

The couple lives in Prospect, and came to the vaccination site in La Grange because of its proximity to their home. They said the convenience will be a major help for other families who live in the area and have had trouble accessing a vaccine.

“It’s amazing that I could get one this close to home actually,” Makhlouf said. “A lot of people I know have gone to Frankfort or Lexington. It just makes it so much easier for everyone to just come, take a little time out of their day and help the community.”

The clinic opened at 7 a.m., but Baptist Health La Grange’s Pharmacy Director Angela Sandlin was in the building an hour before preparing the medicine, drawing the doses into syringes, and ensuring the site was ready for patients.

“I’m just so excited to be able to provide it,” Sandlin said. “And we’ve just kind of waited for this day.”

Though rollout has expanded quickly in Kentucky, access to the vaccine has at times been hard to come by. Many people have been searching weeks to find an appointment, driving long distances in order to get the shots. Several hospitals have partnered with churches in Louisville to bring the vaccines to underserved communities.

For Sandlin, bringing a regional clinic to La Grange is meaningful.

“It’s special to us because of the community here,” Sandlin said. “And we’ve had lots of calls and lots of folks who have said to us, ‘I just couldn’t get in to the big vaccination center,’ or ‘I didn’t, I just felt uncomfortable maybe in downtown, where I couldn’t get to Broadbent. This is my home. This is my place. These are my people.’ And they just feel comfortable coming to us and that’s just been special to me.”

To sign up for a vaccine at Baptist Health La Grange, click here.

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