LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A mass vaccination site in Louisville kicked off Monday morning.

What You Need To Know

  • Public Health and Wellness begins administering vaccines to healthcare workers at drive-thru event

  • Site provides the Moderna vaccine

  • Vaccines offered by appointment only on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Healthcare workers can sign up to receive the vaccine online

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness began administering the vaccines to healthcare workers at a drive-thru event at Broadbent Arena.

“Today is a day to celebrate,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Vaccinating many more people against this dastardly virus means we are moving steadily to returning to the things we enjoy, as well as protecting our families, friends and community from more illness and deaths.”

Fischer joined the city's Chief Health Strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer and members of her staff and volunteers as the first vaccinations were delivered.

The site, which provides the Moderna vaccine, will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Offered by appointment only, the vaccinations are focused on the Tier 1a group. This group focuses on healthcare workers such as physicians, nurses, dentists, occupational and physical therapists, medical lab personnel, audiologists, home health personnel, mortuary personnel, and others.

Healthcare workers who would like to receive the vaccine can sign up at the following link: www.louisvilleky.gov/covid19. From there, click on the "vaccines" tab and complete the form. After the form is completed, Public Health and Wellness personnel will follow up to verify and schedule an appointment.

There are three stations at the site. At the first station, people are checked in and screened to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols. At the second station, they receive the vaccine while remaining seated in their car. At the final station, there is a parking area where the person must stay for 15 minutes of observation to make sure there aren't adverse reactions.

“We expect to provide 1,000 doses this week,” said Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, the health department’s associate medical director. “Our focus right now is on healthcare workers, but we expect to move into Tier 1b, which includes nonmedical first responders, educators, corrections staff and adults over the age of 70, in early February.”

The vaccinations are being administered by Public Health and Wellness nurses in addition to nurse volunteers from the Kentucky Nurses Association. Student volunteers are also involved, such as medical students, nursing and pharmaceutical students, and students from the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

“Today marks a significant milestone,” said Moyer. “We are giving hope one shot at a time. Hope that when a majority in our community is vaccinated this virus will be defeated and we will all be back to doing the things we loved before the pandemic began.”

Frequently asked questions and answers about the mass vaccination site are online.

Haeli Spears is a digital producer with Spectrum News 1 Kentucky. She is a University of Louisville graduate who started her career with Spectrum News in May, 2020.

Reporter Erin Kelly produced the video portion of  this story.