CAVE CITY – In the first stop on its “Shots Across the Bluegrass” tour, the Kentucky Association of Health Plans held a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic Monday as Kentucky Sports Radio delivered a live broadcast from the site.
The KAHP and KSR are hitting the road together this week, traveling to five cities across Kentucky and administering shots in locations that have reported COVID vaccine hesitancy.
KAHP Executive Director Tom Stephens said Hart County had lower-than-expected vaccination rates, and nearby Dinosaur World made for an informal, quirky spot to set up the clinic.
The clinic ran from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with about a dozen medical professionals on hand to administer the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Stephens said the tour’s objective is to set up clinics in non-medical locations as a way to eliminate any fears a person may have with going to the doctor for a shot.
KSR’s Matt Jones helped lead the radio show in Cave City. For Jones, the tour is about raising accessibility and awareness.
“Our audience is in a lot of places that I think are hesitant to get vaccinated,” Jones said. “I think there has been a lot of misinformation out there. One of the blessings we have is that a lot of folks trust us. A lot of my listeners both politically and socially are different from me, but they trust us.”
Jones said one of the main reasons he is taking part in the endeavor is to help bring vaccines to eastern Kentucky. Later in the week, the tour will address that part of the state with stops in Clay and Laurel counties.
“The two stops in eastern Kentucky are important to me,” Jones said. “We have been hearing reports that we have large fan bases there. When I agreed to do it, I wanted to be sure that we did a couple of them in the mountains. I think that hopefully it will be a positive. Getting people signed up is important to the state.”
Joining Jones on Monday were KSR personalities Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin and Shannon “The Dude” Grigsby, who discussed a variety of sports and Kentucky topics during the show.
Robin Ramsay of Park City was among those getting the vaccine Monday at the event. She said she wanted to get the shot so she could stop wearing a mask.
“It’s just one shot and go so you don’t have to worry about going back to the doctor or anything like that to get the second one,” Ramsay said. “It’s done and over with. It didn’t hurt at all.”
Ramsay said the experience was so positive that she plans on telling her loved ones to get vaccinated as well and to stop “putting it off.”
The tour will set up shop in Green County on Tuesday followed by McCracken County on Wednesday and Clay County on Thursday before ending in Laurel County on Friday.
– For further information on the tour or on KHAP, visit www.kahp.org or follow @kyhealthplans on Twitter.
– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.