2 Louisville area mass vaccination sites set to close

The closures come as demand for COVID-19 vaccinations have slowed down.
Published: May. 19, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT
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A new step to make the COVID-19 vaccination process faster and smoother kicked off at Baptist...
A new step to make the COVID-19 vaccination process faster and smoother kicked off at Baptist Health Floyd on Monday.(WAVE 3 News)
With 24 lines, Cardinal Stadium is the state's largest mass vaccination site.
With 24 lines, Cardinal Stadium is the state's largest mass vaccination site.(Ken Baker/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With the demand for COVID-19 vaccinations slowing down, two big vaccination sites in WAVE Country - one on each side of the Ohio River - will soon be closing.

Baptist Health Floyd will be closing its COVID-19 drive-through vaccine clinic on Friday, May 21. In five months, the clinic located inside the old ambulance bay at the hospital, vaccinated around 50,000 people. At its high point, the clinic was vaccinating up to 450 people a day. Baptist Health Floyd says they’ll be closing this site because interest has dropped.

“Running a mass vaccination clinic with staff and keeping that busy, was just getting to the point where we didn’t have enough to keep that going,” Brian Cox, Baptist Health director of operations said.

People in Southern Indiana can still turn to their health departments and pharmacies if they need the vaccine.

On the Kentucky side of the river, the UofL Health mass vaccination site at Cardinal Stadium will also be closing on May 28. Crowds have also slowed down there, but the reason is mainly because the purple lot was reserved by UofL Health for seven weeks and that time is up.

“The mass vaccination sites have done their job, they have been out in the community and they have done a lot of outreach in the community making it easy,” Dr. Jason Smith from UofL Health said. “This is just a new phase in the vaccine rollout and deployment and it is getting it into practices and pediatrician offices into pharmacies and closer to home.”

The UofL Health site at Cardinal Stadium has vaccinated more than 27,000 people since April 12. The UofL Health downtown drive-thru location at Brook and Liberty will stay open for the time being. Eventually, UofL Health will move vaccinations to urgent care and provider office locations.

As more people are fully vaccinated, the question is if or when we’ll need a booster. Right now, scientist are looking at people who got the very first shots in clinical trials. People like Dr. Jon Klein. He’s still getting his antibodies measured.

“So far so good,” Klein said. “We know at least through 8-9 months that the vaccines that were tested back in July/August are still providing protection.”

Against the variants too. Medical experts in the area say they are confident that even though vaccination sites are closing, there will be plenty of places where people can get boosters.

The good news... if these sites have to open back up it won’t be as hard as it initially was.

“They are something we have a blue print for,” Klein said. “If for some reason there was a surge in the fall from a variant, these drive-thru’s could be put back pretty quickly.”

WAVE 3 News Now. Watch Anytime. Anywhere.
WAVE 3 News Now. Watch Anytime. Anywhere.(WAVE 3 News)

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