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NKU prepares for fully booked mass vaccination clinic

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Posted at 7:20 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 07:25:37-04

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — Health officials are preparing Northern Kentucky's largest-ever vaccination clinic this weekend.

Appointments for 4,000 vaccines at BB&T Arena were booked solid within about eight hours.

Health officials said it's encouraging to see so many people want the vaccine -- the demand is really a good problem to have. Their biggest hurdle is oftentimes finding the space to properly distance everyone during the post-injection observation period.

Erica Neff, manager of Ambulatory Care Pharmacy at St. Elizabeth, said she understands the frustration of not being able to get an appointment. But walk-ins aren't allowed because they need to be strategic about when the vaccines are prepped, drawn up and assigned to a patient at a specific time.

"I want to give all 4,000, so I don't want to have to return any doses back to the hospital. We certainly don't let anything go to waste,” Neff said. “So we basically draw up doses in real time as patients come in. And that's why almost every place that's giving vaccinations, that's why they do it with an appointment because that helps us know how many we need, how many are still coming so there is no waste.”

Neff said there will be cancellations this weekend. They'll post the appointments on St. Elizabeth's website as soon as they have an opening. She also said they usually know how many doses they are getting from the state a few weeks ahead of time, so they should be able to start sharing those appointments as well.

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Senior Reporter Larry Seward is focusing his reporting on the COVID-19 vaccine to bring you answers and information. Contact Larry at 513-667-4804 or larry.seward@wcpo.com.