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Louisville to add more COVID-19 vaccination sites as Kentucky expands eligibility

The Louisville area is ramping up COVID-19 vaccination sites to help expand access in underserved areas.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentuckians age 40 and older were able to start registering for COVID-19 vaccines on Monday. This comes as Louisville adds more vaccination sites to expand access. 

Churchill Downs hosted Norton Healthcare on Monday for vaccine distribution.

"There wasn't a line it was pretty smooth so I walked right in and got my dose," Becky Florence said who got her shot ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby. "I wanted to get my vaccine before Derby because I wanted to make sure that I’m keeping everyone that I come in contact with safe."

Norton Healthcare is accepting walk-ins and appointments at Churchill. The first day was Monday and Tuesday and April 12 will be the last two. They are hoping to vaccinate 2,500 people.  

"We hope that the more people that we get vaccinated the more we can get people back to the things they love," vice president of corporate communications at Churchill Downs, Tonya Abeln said. "Whether that’s spending time with their grandchildren, working safely in the community or for us hopefully it’s celebrating some of those treasured traditions of the Kentucky Derby."

Norton Healthcare and Humana are partnering for a new site in the Shawnee neighborhood at Whitney Young Elementary. Appointments will open for residents in West Louisville on Apr. 1. Governor Andy Beshear says the site can give over 2,000 vaccinations a week. 

"We found out all sorts of things like people had government issued phones so if they're calling our call center and they're being on hold they're wasting precious minutes," director of employee wellness at Norton Healthcare, Allison Ledford said. "So really how do we address those barriers how do we break down those social determinants of health and get everyone who wants to be vaccinated a chance to be vaccinated."

Cardinal Stadium will serve as the state's largest vaccination site starting Apr. 8. UofL Health plans to open 24,000 appointments for sign ups on Wednesday. It'll be the state's largest partner in vaccine distribution.

Contact reporter Senait Gebregiorgis at SGebregior@whas11.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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