Shively pop-up clinic targets those with vaccine access issues

Shively pop-up clinic targets those with vaccine access issues
Patients wait in observation after receiving dose.
Patients wait in observation after receiving dose. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
One volunteer used a vacation day to help others.
One volunteer used a vacation day to help others. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The vaccine event will last three days.
The vaccine event will last three days. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - During the early days of COVID-19 vaccine availability, many scouring the internet are having trouble finding an open appointment. If they don’t have a computer or aren’t tech savvy, the process can be even more difficult.

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Shively Monday had those issues in mind when setting up a pop-up clinic. Church leaders told WAVE 3 News they hoped to serve some of those whose turns come up to get the shot, but until now, were left behind.

“I registered all of the seniors of this church myself,” Pastor Eric French Sr. said. “Actually, I’m doing the transportation today, going around picking people up because we need to do anything and everything we can to make sure people can get vaccinated.”

On day one of the three-part event, stopwatches ticked down to zero as many in the building sat in a cluster of chairs for a post-shot observation period.

“The process was very easy,” Kendra Lewis, who rolled up her sleeve Monday, said. “The needle was not big. I feel fine after the shot.”

The church teamed up with Metro Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey and UofL Health to host a three day pop-up vaccine clinic.

“People were having trouble getting access,” French said. “That’s why we wanted to make sure we were part of the process.”

Dorsey said the goal of her office, in organizing the event, was to take healthcare to where people live.

“We’ve gone door to door in this area, knocking on seniors doors, actually registering seniors,” Dorsey said.

She added that’s helpful for those who may not know how to use a computer or may not have one. About 1,200 patients are scheduled to be seen, according to the District 3 representative.

Dr. Tanya Franklin was among those distributing the shots.

“I’m actually on vacation,” Franklin, a volunteer, said.

Franklin said her daughter was helping prep bandages too.

“It makes me feel like I’m a part of history,” Franklin said. “A part of history to change the pain and suffering people have experienced throughout the past year. It just feels so good. This is why I became a doctor.”

All so people like Lewis don’t have to experience COVID-19 a second time around.

“I can honestly say I was in denial at the beginning because I was just like it’s just the flu,” Lewis said. “I have the real, real bad flu. I wouldn’t want to wish it on anybody because I couldn’t breath hardly.”

Lewis, who isn’t a senior, said she once had trouble signing up for a shot too, but is now looking forward to seeing family again thanks to the event.

“My grandmother is 90,” she said. “So, time is going by fast.”

All appointments have been booked at the location, but UofL Health said it plans on scheduling more similar events in the future.

Those in search of a shot can find participating clinics at vaccinefinder.org.

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