EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is part of a publishing partnership between the Richmond Register and Eastern Progress
Several changes are being made at the Baptist Health Richmond (BHR) vaccine clinic located in the Perkins Building at Eastern Kentucky University.
One big change BHR staff say they are excited about it is ability to take walk-in vaccinations.
Anyone ages 16 and up are eligible for the vaccine, and only require a driver’s license or ID. Those ages under 18 require a parent or guardian present.
According to Chief Medical Officer at BHR, Erica Gregonis, the facility has been able to administer more than 14,000 doses between their initial clinic at the hospital and the Perkins Building at EKU.
“The goal is that we are noticing more people have been able to utilize the clinic and there are less and less people available to receive the vaccine,” she said. “We want to make sure we are efficiently using the clinic time, and that everyone who wants to come can and that we can make that as easy as possible.”
Because the clinic has been able to vaccinate so many people — fewer people are scheduling appointments.
Gregonis said while this is a good thing, the clinic will be reducing the days open each week to Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Less and less need the vaccine, because so many have already received both doses,” she said. “We have seen so many people get the vaccine, that the clinic is starting to wind down.”
Due to the amount of vaccinations already administered, the clinic will stop accepting appointments or walk-ins altogether for vaccinations on May 6.
Gregonis said for those that want to schedule or receive either their first or second dose, they need to do so before May 6.
The clinic will remain in operation until all of those registered or wanting a vaccine can receive the vaccine.
“It is bittersweet,” Gregonis said of winding down.
However, even when the clinic closes on May 6, there are more and more places offering the COVID-19 vaccinations.
“People have more options,” she said. “When we started, we were the only clinic offering here locally and now there are laundry lists of places to receive a vaccine. And that is what we wanted to do as a good community partner was to offer this vaccine, and also help people get it if they want it.”
While walk-ins are now accepted, those desiring a vaccine can schedule online at baptisthealth.com/vaccine/schedule-now/ or by calling 1-800-444-0310. Walk-ins and appointments are available Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.