UK Health Care College Volunteers Help Vaccination Clinic Expand Hours, Capacity

The University of Kentucky COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Kroger Field began expanding its Saturday hours and increasing vaccination capacity by about 1,000 people a week thanks to volunteers from the University of Kentucky’s health care colleges.

The UK Kroger Field COVID-19 vaccination clinic operates from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Overall, UK HealthCare has vaccinated more than 33,797 people including frontline health care workers, first responders, teachers and school personnel and people over age 70.

Previously the clinic had closed at noon on Saturdays but beginning this past weekend, the first expanded clinic was held with help from the UK College of Medicine providing more than 50 volunteers. Faculty, staff and students from the college participated by serving in roles from everything from immunizers to wayfinders.  In addition to the group from the College of Medicine, volunteers from the College of Pharmacy, College of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences and College of Nursing will take turns staffing the clinic over the next four Saturdays.

“This extra five-hour shift not only means increased vaccination capacity, but it also offer students an excellent experience and a valuable public service opportunity,” said UK College of Medicine Dean Robert DiPaola who also is the project lead for UK’s START team. "Our medical students are trained and qualified to help out and in addition, they are paired up with other health care providers."

Medical student Cameron Wade was quick to agree to volunteer when the chance became available. "For my own personal perspective, I have a loved one with an immunocompromised condition and so it's very important for me to help get as many people vaccinated as possible."

For Dr. Wendy Hansen, chair, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UK College of Medicine, it was a great opportunity to be part of an important public health effort and to participate with her two daughters, Elizabeth and Anna, both College of Medicine students.

"A lot of the folks that we've got to interact with that are coming in for their vaccine have been so excited," said Anna Hansen. " They are so ready for this chance and to be able to see them and to be a part of that day for them is something we will definitely hold onto for a long time."

For more information on how to register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

A signup tool has been developed where you 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.  

By completing the vaccine request form, you will be added to the database of those requesting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field location. The database will allow UK HealthCare to send invitations for vaccine appointments based on the recommended phased distribution from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, with priority given to health care workers, essential workers and older people. Once you receive the email invitation, please respond as quickly as possible.

For questions about this process, you can call 859-218-0111 or email vaccine@uky.edu. A list of current information and frequently asked questions is available at go.uky.edu/vaccine

UK HealthCare is following Kentucky’s phased plan. Kentucky and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have directed that vaccinations be offered in the following phases:

  • 1A:  Long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, healthcare personnel.*
  • 1B:  First responders, anyone age 70 or older, K-12 school personnel.*
  • 1C:  Anyone age 60 or older, anyone age 16 or older with CDC highest risk C19 conditions, all essential workers.
  • 2:   Anyone age 40 or older.
  • 3:   Anyone age 16 or older.
  • 4:   Children under the age of 16 if the vaccine is approved for this age group.