LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear and faith leaders representing more than 50 local churches kicked off a 12-hour vaccination event organized by UofL Health in West Louisville Saturday, where 2,500 Kentuckians were vaccinated against COVID-19.
What You Need To Know
- UofL Health partnered with faith leaders for a 12-hour vaccination clinic in West Louisville
- Around 2,500 vaccines were administered at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
- Gov. Beshear said the event aimed to address vaccine inequity in Kentucky
- Starting Monday, eligibility expands to allow Kentuckians 40 and older to sign up for their shot
“Our churches and our health care providers have been on the frontlines throughout our war against COVID-19, and they are now invaluable partners as we vaccinate more and more Kentuckians every day,” Beshear said. “After a difficult year where we have lost more than 6,000 Kentuckians, it is thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of our health care heroes and volunteers that we are meeting the greatest challenge of our generation and will defeat COVID-19 this year.”
Calling it a "battle over life and death," Beshear joined UofL Health officials to help close the vaccine inequity gap with the Commonwealth's faith leaders at the forefront.
“This is a real shot of hope and it’s significant the vaccine is provided so close to home,” said Pastor David Snardon, president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition and pastor of Joshua Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. “I applaud the leadership of Gov. Beshear and the focus by UofL Health to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID vaccine.”
Beshear and his administration are partnering with UofL Health and other providers throughout the commonwealth to ramp up vaccinations through regional centers, hospitals, pharmacies and clinics in churches, schools, community centers and other locations, making vaccines more accessible to those who want their shot of hope.
“Transportation, communication and online registration can be barriers. That’s where the churches have been such valuable partners,” said Tom Miller, CEO of UofL Health. “The access barriers are a focus for our team, as UofL Health continues to lead in caring for more and more people from West Louisville. By connecting with the churches, we know this vaccine is reaching the Medically Underserved Areas.”
On Saturday, UofL Health administered around 2,500 vaccines in its largest single-day community vaccine event so far. The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH) provided an ideal location, to ease the barriers and increase access within a federally designated Medically Underserved Area.
“UofL Health is committed to balancing equity in health, employment and education,” said Dr. Edward Miller, chair of UofL Health’s diversity, equity and inclusion council. “We’ve got nearly 700 of our own UofL Health employees that live in West Louisville. We want to grow that number, keep improving access and invest in new generation of health care workers to build a stronger and healthier community.”
On Monday, March 29, all Kentuckians 40 and older will be eligible for all three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, although vaccination sites will continue to prioritize older individuals.
Brennon Gurley contributed the video for this story.