Beginning March 10, Pfizer vaccines will be given at LouVax Mass Vaccination Site
Today, Mayor Greg Fischer and Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, Associate Medical Director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, announced the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed through the LouVax mass vaccination site beginning March 10.
Mayor Fischer, enthusiastic about Louisville having three vaccines to help protect the community, said the vaccine is critical to reopening the economy.
“Better days are ahead, and the vaccine is helping us reach the day when we can take off our masks, hug our parents, send our children off to school each morning and sit shoulder-to-shoulder at concerts, movies and ballgames,” the Mayor said.
Dr. Hartlage explained the transition to the Pfizer vaccine is due to a change in the allocation that the health department receives from the state. She added that a large high-efficiency site such as LouVax is better equipped to handle the regulatory requirements of the Pfizer vaccine as opposed to smaller health departments in rural counties.
“The Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at an ultra-cold temperature,” Dr. Hartlage said. “Once it is thawed out to room temperature, it’s good for two hours. That’s a reason why it’s difficult to use in other settings and why it’s allocated to larger sites like LouVax where we’re able to deal with the challenges inherent to the Pfizer vaccine.”
For any concerns from individuals who received the Moderna vaccine as their first shot, Dr. Hartlage reassured them they will still receive Moderna for their booster shot at LouVax per CDC requirements for COVID-19 vaccines.
“If you got a Moderna shot, your Moderna booster is still here for you,” Dr. Hartlage said. “We have plenty of boosters available for those who received it as their primary shot. Our primary shots will be transitioning on Wednesday to Pfizer.”
Speaking further on the efficacy of the Moderna, Pfizer and the Janssen vaccines, Dr. Hartlage said that all are equally effective at protecting the community from COVID-19.
“All three vaccines are 100 percent effective at preventing death from COVID and each have comparable efficiency at preventing severe illness Dr. Hartlage said. “I encourage you to take whatever vaccine is available to you. Get vaccinated as soon as you become eligible. Every dose helps save lives.”
Thursday, the Department of Public Health and Wellness received the city’s first shipment of the Janssen vaccine that included 1,500 doses. Dr. Hartlage said while the state is on a limited supply of the Janssen vaccine over the coming weeks, Metro Health will use this initial supply for specific populations.
“This vaccine gives us more flexibility and enables us to do mobile missions,” she said. “We intend to deploy those 1,500 doses for targeted missions into transient housing, people experiencing homelessness, homebound seniors and other relevant groups that are difficult to reach,” she said.
Dr. Hartlage reported that citywide 235,401 vaccine doses have been administered to date. Of those doses, 149,792 were primary shots and 85,609 were second dose shots to complete the two-shot vaccine series. At the LouVax site, Dr. Hartlage announced that 50,848 vaccine shots were given including 31,443 primary doses and 19,405 second dose shots.
With support from the volunteers, LouVax operates at high efficiency. Dr. Hartlage recognized the impact their efforts have in clinical and administrative roles. She said that 6,446 volunteers have registered to assist at the site with 42,771 volunteer hours logged and 685 volunteers have received the vaccine after logging 40 hours of service time at LouVax.
Next week, the LouVax site will complete booster shots for educators on Tuesday. Focus for the remainder of next week will be primary shots for adults aged 60 and older. Dr. Hartlage said those individuals are pulled from Norton Healthcare’s waitlist. The health department anticipates that vaccinating the priority group will last through April.
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View Friday’s COVID-19 update here . The city’s COVID-19 data dashboard, a complete list of COVID-19 testing sites, vaccine information, prevention and contact tracing can be found at www.louisville.gov/covid19. The LOU HEALTH COVID19 Helpline is also available: 502- 912-8598