LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Getting people who are 70 years old and older vaccinated in Louisville is a matter of supply right now, as the demand exceeds what’s currently available.
As of Sat., Jan. 23, 2021, Jefferson County has vaccinated 9,174 residents 70 and older, according to a spokesperson with the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW).
Dr. Jason Smith, chief medical officer of UofL Health, said UofL Health gets 200 requests an hour for the vaccine.
“People are very interested in this, which is great,” Dr. Smith said. “Thus far, we’ve had a pretty high acceptance rate for most of the people we’ve been able to contact to get scheduled, which is fantastic. It’s what we want. We just want to roll it out as quickly as we can.”
Dr. Smith said UofL Health receives between 2,000 to 4,000 new vaccine doses each week and is currently working through a waitlist provided by Louisville’s public health department to fill appointments. However, he said UofL Health will try to open up some appointments to the public this week.
“Just because of the timing I think we are gonna try to get some open on Wednesday at the drive-through. It will be a few hundred, but it will at least give some other people a chance to sign up beyond what we’ve currently got,” Dr. Smith explained.
UofL Health is among three Louisville hospitals offering the vaccine to Louisville-area residents 70 and older.
Dr. Steven Hester, chief medical officer of Norton Healthcare, said Norton has vaccinated 5,000 Louisvillians in that age category, and it has another 10,000 scheduled. Currently, Norton Healthcare has six vaccine locations.
“We were doing online scheduling. As you can imagine, those go really quick. So we moved to a process where we have a waitlist,” Dr. Hester explained. “If you come to our website, look for an appointment, and there’s no one available, an individual who falls into the appropriate category, for now, would be 70 plus, is able to sign up for that waitlist.”
Dr. Hester said there are currently about 12,000 people on Norton Healthcare’s waitlist. He said Norton Healthcare gets an average of 5,000 doses of the vaccine every week.
Dr. Kenneth Anderson is the chief medical officer of Baptist Health Louisville. He said they are currently booked out for seven to 10 days with vaccine appointments. Dr. Anderson said appointments all depend on vaccine availability.
“This is gonna be a moving target. You know, if by chance the state says we could get four trays of Pfizer vaccine’s next week, we’ll be ready to open up for the next two to four weeks, you know, that type of thing,” Dr. Anderson explained.
Last week, Dr. Anderson said, Baptist Health Louisville received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, to be given as a first dose, but he wasn’t sure what the hospital would receive this week. He said Baptist Health Louisville is mainly working with the Louisville Metro Public Health Department to fill appointments that open up.
“We just need more vaccine, and hopefully we get more vaccine soon,” Dr. Anderson said.
You can find more information about getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Jefferson County here.
Louisville’s public health department also offers residents to sign-up for its vaccine interest list. Filling out the information form will keep you up to date with where the department is in the vaccine process, but it is not a sign-up form for the vaccine.
Here are links to COVID-19 vaccine appointment websites of each provider mentioned to sign-up when appointments become available.
When appointments do become available, Louisville’s public health department recommends the following:
- Do not sign up with multiple providers. Due to available supply, appointments are limited. It may take several weeks to get an appointment.
- People who don’t have internet access can have a family member or friend register them.
- If you have health insurance, including Medicare, you must bring your insurance card but there is no cost to you, regardless of your insurance status.
For those living outside of Jefferson County, the state has set up a website with links and numbers across the state. You can find it on our special coronavirus section.