Important Update on Vaccinations January 15, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
We are moving forward rapidly with our COVID-19 vaccination plan, and I know that is a tremendous relief for so many, while also a source of continued questions during this dynamic situation. I want to provide an update on how we are moving forward and what has occurred to date.
This has been – and will continue to be – an incredible partnership between UK HealthCare and the university, doing what we were created to do: serve our Commonwealth.
Our plans moving forward
- On Tuesday, January 19, we will centralize all the COVID-19 vaccinations UK HealthCare is providing into one large clinic located at Kroger Field.
- There, we have significant parking and space to increase in a dramatic fashion the number of people being vaccinated.
- Those being vaccinated will park in the Blue Lot, proceed to check in at Gate 11 and then be directed to a large vaccination clinic in the Club Area on the first floor. They will be given directions at each step of the process.
- The clinic will operate six days a week – Monday through Saturday. We are working on the hours of operation and will communicate those soon.
- PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO GET A VACCINATION. THOSE WHO SHOW UP WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT WILL BE TURNED AWAY.
- View a map of the location for the central clinic.
Who will be vaccinated there and in what order?
- A signup tool has been developed through which people will answer screening questions and then be invited to consent to be vaccinated, according to the state’s prioritized guidelines. The signup is available here.
- People with questions about this process should call 859-218-0111.
- We will begin next week vaccinating teachers and employees in kindergarten through grade 12 in schools in our community. We are working directly with school officials on that process. We are excited to partner with the state and our schools.
- We will prioritize, as the state has directed, health care workers and providers at UK and in the community, as well as emergency first responders in the region. UK HealthCare has been designated by the state as a regional distribution center for this purpose.
- Individuals covered by the university’s health insurance program also will be prioritized.
- Members of our campus community, in alignment with state guidelines, will continue to be vaccinated.
What have we done thus far?
- UK HealthCare began vaccinating frontline health workers in December. To date, about 12,000 people have been vaccinated – an incredible accomplishment.
- As we have received more vaccine doses – earlier and in larger volumes than we anticipated – we have been vaccinating more and more people. That is a good thing. But it also is an incredible logistical challenge.
- As we began to exhaust the initial list of health care clinicians and workers, we started working first with our health care colleges and research enterprise to identify those who could be vaccinated in accordance with state guidelines.
As you might imagine, we are managing thousands of names and reams of information and moving quickly to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible, in accordance with the state’s parameters. At the same time, the state has – rightly – told us that we are to use every dose we get, each week, as quickly as possible. This is our commitment.
That commitment is essential, as the vaccines must be refrigerated on site. And when they are taken out of that refrigeration, they must be administered quickly. It is not a perfect process now, and it will not be going forward. But we are working to make the process better each day. I am confident we will.
And the bottom line is this: each person vaccinated – regardless of who they are – makes our people safer and our community healthier.
As we work in a fluid and rapidly changing environment, we ask for your patience. As always, if you have questions about this vaccination process, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also are maintaining a running list of current information and frequently asked questions: go.uky.edu/vaccine.
Even as we draw a sense of hope from the promise of vaccines, it is critical that we continue to practice the healthy behaviors that have been so important to the health and safety of our community – what we call our Daily 4.0: washing hands, wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing and screening every day.
Our hope is that much of our campus – particularly faculty and staff – will be vaccinated over the next few months.
We are being asked to serve as a major part of the health solution to this crisis – for our community and our Commonwealth. That is a result of the capacity we have demonstrated throughout this process – the public health infrastructure we created last semester to test, trace, screen, isolate and quarantine—and our commitment to meet this moment as the University of, for and with Kentucky.
We are doing more – and being more – for our state and those we serve. Once again, we are positioned to meet a critical moment. Once again, I know that we will.