Kentucky McDonald’s owner hosts vaccine clinics at restaurants

Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Tackling hesitancy and bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to people in a trusted setting remains key for public health workers, and a Louisville-based group tapped into a familiar franchise to meet that challenge.

Tom Burrell owns 17 McDonald’s stores across Kentucky.

“He’s always had a people-first mentality,” Stephanie Cottrell, the director of operations for McDonald’s, said. “As a logical extension of that process, he wanted to bring the vaccine clinic to the community.”

With that in mind, locations in Elizabethtown and Campbellsville served up COVID vaccines last week. A free meal was also given to participants.

Employee Tierra Campbell used the opportunity to roll up her sleeve after a coworker suggested she be first in line.

“I was like, ‘That’s a good idea,’” Campbell said. “Maybe that’ll get my crew pumped up about wanting to do it.”

Campbell said it did.

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The clinic served employees and the public. (Source: Tom Burrell Organization)
The clinic served employees and the public. (Source: Tom Burrell Organization)(Tom Burrell Organization)

“I feel good about being able to go around my family and knowing that I’m safe,” Campbell said. “That I’m going to keep them safe and as far as my employees too.”

Forty people got the shot, which was administered by Wild Health, including restaurant regulars who were just passing by.

“She just happened to stop by and said it was just so easy,” Cottrell said. “It was just right there. So, she thought she’d stop by and get the vaccine there.”

Creative events like this remain important. Over the last month, Hardin County saw a modest increase in its vaccination rate, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, according to Terrie Burgan with the Lincoln Trail District Health Department.

“We’re taking these little baby steps to do that,” Burgan, who is the LTDHD public information officer, said. “It would be great if we could decrease some of the vaccine hesitancy.”

The countywide vaccination count sits at 37% of people vaccinated, and 44% of those 12 and up have received the shot.

Health workers said they’re trying to convince people it’s safe, and that it is still needed as cases drop.

The restaurant group will host another vaccine clinic on June 24.

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