One of the FEMA-run vaccine clinics is underway in Henderson for the next three weeks. It’s a very different look than what you’ll see elsewhere.
As we reported last week, the state of Kentucky chose to get more coronavirus vaccine doses by partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Some vaccine clinics may have one or two National Guard personnel on hand to help with traffic or other duties. But at the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension office in Henderson, from the guy taking temperatures at the door to the people giving shots, the uniform of the day for every worker is military fatigues.
Air Force master sergeant Joseph Carpenter explained why his active duty military service record will include a short entry for Henderson, Kentucky in 2021.
“The state sent a request and FEMA and the DOD (Department of Defense) are fulfilling that request," Carpenter says, "FEMA is supporting and then we are the manpower. The DOD is the manpower behind it. The ultimate goal is to support the state and provide as many vaccines to the local community as possible.”
Henderson resident Toni Codynah is a night shift convenience store clerk, an essential worker who is constantly interacting with the public. She’s getting the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at this clinic.
“I work with the public and we had a little scare the other day whenever one of the girls actually had a family member that came up positive and that she has some interactions with," Codynah says, "So, thank goodness she was negative but I just want to be on the safe side. I would much rather get the little pain of getting the vaccine than taking the chance of getting COVID the second time. I had it the first week of January.”
The Henderson site is a hub for temporary vaccine clinics in western Kentucky. FEMA spokesman C.J. Prudhom explains.
“We have a hub here in Henderson, we have a hub in Laurel. We are also supporting two mobile sites out of each hub. So, six units going out.”
Prudhom says it can get frustrating at times dealing with people who are hesitant to get the vaccine. Toni Codynah has heard it all through the plexiglass at the convenience store.
“In talking to people, you know I talk to a lot of people who have not gotten it and will not get it," Codynah says, "You know I’ve got several members of my family who have gotten it and wouldn’t turn back, so. Definitely, I know there’s a lot of people out there who think this isn’t the right thing to do just because it was made so quickly and all of these other, you know, basically, excuses in my opinion.
I mean, I understand that sometimes the risks feel like they outweigh the positive of it. But the reality of it is, if we want continue on, if we want to be mask free, be back to normal this is what has to happen, really, in my opinion.”
If you haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, the shot is free and it is kind of a cool pandemic story to tell your grandkids that you received your shot from an Army medic. As I packed up my gear, I saw Toni Codynah in the parking lot, talking with her husband. After a few minutes, he put on a mask and went to in to get his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Here is the list of mobile vaccine sites this week operated out of the Henderson FEMA hub:
Wild Health Mobile Vaccination Schedule 5/25/21 – 5/29/21
Tuesday 5/25/21 (No mobile sites operating)
Those who got their first dose at Finders Keepers Traders Outlet Mall in Madisonville will be referred to the Madisonville State Office Building on 5/28
625 Hospital Dr Madisonville, KY 42432
Those who got their first dose at the John James Audubon State Park in Henderson will be referred to the hub site at the UK Cooperative Extension Center (Behind the Farm Bureau Insurance Agency)
3341 KY 351 (Zion Rd) Henderson, KY 42420
St. Joseph & Paul Catholic Church Parish Hall
515 S Alvasia St, Henderson, KY 42420
Saint Ann Parish
318 W Spalding St, Morganfield, KY 42437
3047 Legion Park Dr, Owensboro, KY 42303
Central Presbyterian Church
206 West Main St., Princeton, KY, 42445
Madisonville State Office Building
625 Hospital Dr Madisonville, KY 42432
Beech Grove Christian Church
188 College St., Beech Grove, KY, 42322
Buck Creek Baptist
3788 US-431, Calhoun, KY 42327
Central City Convention Center
320 Golden Tide Ave, Central City, KY 42330