Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Open Despite Winter Storm

Feb 19, 2021

A member of the Kentucky National Guard, stationed outside the Kroger Health vaccination clinic, escorts a woman into Greenwood Mall for her appointment.
Credit Lisa Autry

Some regional vaccination clinics in Kentucky are still offering the COVID-19 vaccine despite the winter storm. 

A clinic run by Kroger Health is open at Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green.  Bruce Kessler was there on Thursday and said he didn’t let the weather deter him from getting his first injection.  

“We’re fairly brave when we need to get out," Kessler said. "Front wheel drive vehicles are a marvelous creation, and I had been out yesterday and knew the roads were pretty okay where they had been scraped,   so I felt like we could get to the mall, no problem.”

Kessler received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine with his twin 18-year-old daughters.  His wife and son who are both educators have already received both doses.

Kessler heads the Mathematics Department at Western Kentucky University. Once he receives his second dose of the vaccine, Kessler said he’ll feel more comfortable returning to campus.  He’s mostly been working from home since the pandemic began nearly a year ago.

Gov. Andy Beshear closed vaccination sites at the end of last week because of snow and ice. For people who had appointments scheduled for last week, the Kroger site accommodated them on Thursday.

The Kroger clinic is open Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Despite the bitter cold and dangerous driving conditions, the clinic has had few cancellations because of the weather.

“They are, I think, willing to come out in the cold because they’ve been so excited anticipating receiving the vaccine, said Jeremy Crain, Health and Wellness Leader for Kroger Health's Nashville division. "They’ve expressed their appreciation for our providers being here to provide it.”

Bowling Green’s other vaccination site is at the WKU Health Sciences Complex on the campus of the Medical Center. That location closed for two days earlier this week because of the winter storm. Monday’s appointments have been rescheduled for Saturday, and Tuesday’s appointments will take place on Sunday.

Appointment times remain unchanged. For those who aren’t available this weekend, their appointments will be rescheduled for next week.

While The Medical Center has had several cancellations, officials say that’s allowed them to see more patients on a waiting list for the vaccine.

Both the Kroger and Medical Center clinics are continuing to immunize people in the 1B category under the state’s vaccination plan. That includes health care workers, first responders, K-12 school staff, and seniors age 70 and older.