LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2021) — As the Lexington region continues to experience days of potentially inclement weather, it is critical that those receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at UK’s Kroger Field take extra precautions and also follow all the procedures regarding appointment schedules, officials said Monday.
Specifically, University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare officials said that people should only show up at the clinic if they have an appointment for a vaccine at Kroger Field. Further, it is critical that they only arrive at the clinic on the day and check-in time of their appointment. Walk-in appointments will not be accommodated, nor will people coming on a day they are not scheduled.
“We know the level of anxiety and anticipation that exists about the virus and the hope that vaccines represent,” said Dr. Ashley Montgomery-Yates, UK HealthCare’s assistant chief medical officer for inpatient service and one of the project leads for the vaccine clinic. “But the quickest way to vaccinate the most people in our community is to follow the rules and procedures that have been established.”
Dr. Philip Almeter, chief pharmacist at UK HealthCare and a project lead at the clinic, said it takes hours early each morning for a pharmacy team to prepare doses for each day at the clinic. The number of doses match the number of people scheduled in advance for that given day.
“Given the refrigeration and storage needs of the vaccines, we don’t prepare extra doses each day. We prepare what is necessary for those who are scheduled,” Almeter said. “It is critical that people show up on the day they are scheduled at the appropriate check-in time. We can’t take walk-ins. And people who are scheduled late in the week can’t come earlier or on another day.”
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a first shot and a booster shot. They also must be used within days of being taken out of refrigeration. With bitterly cold and inclement weather forecast for this week, UK Police Chief Joe Monroe, who helps manage clinic operations, said it is imperative that patients and others take precautions to stay safe when coming for an appointment. Some tips to follow include:
- Dress warmly for the frigidly cold temperatures.
- You must have an appointment to get a vaccination.
- If you arrive early, please do not get out of your vehicle to get in line sooner than 10 minutes prior to your appointed check-in time.
- You will not lose your place in line.
- If everyone follows this protocol, officials can help ensure that the check- in lines are kept shorter and the time outdoors will be reduced, making everyone safer during the process.
- UK facilities officials are working around the clock during inclement weather to keep roads around campus — and the Kroger Field parking lot — safe.
- If weather conditions require a closure of the clinic for the day or a change in schedule, patients will be notified directly as well as the media.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.