Health department is closing its COVID-19 vaccine site at Bruce Center

Beginning Thursday, May 27, the health department will administer the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines one day a week by appointment at its Canton Street facility.

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The Christian County Health Department has closed its regional COVID-19 vaccine site at the James E. Bruce Convention Center and will shift to administering vaccines one day a week at the department’s facility at 1700 Canton St. 

According to scheduling information on the agency’s website, the health department will administer both the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Thursdays, by appointment only, beginning next week. (Moderna is a two-shot vaccine. Johnson & Johnson requires just one shot. Both are approved for adults 18 and older.)

The health department did not make an announcement in advance of closing the regional site at the Bruce Center, but department spokeswoman Amanda Sweeney Brunt said in a WKDZ radio news report that Tuesday was the last day the regional site was open. 

On the health department’s Facebook page, a graph published on Tuesday listed four providers in Hopkinsville that administer COVID-19 vaccines. Those are the health department, Walmart Neighborhood Market, Walgreens and Kroger. 

The Facebook post states, “There are several opportunities to get vaccinated in our community! Take a look and choose one that is convenient for you!”

But many Christian County residents are choosing to not get the vaccine, at least not yet, according to the state’s daily report on vaccinations by county

As of Tuesday, Christian County had the worst vaccination rate in the state for total population at slightly less than 18%. Statewide, 44% of Kentucky residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine. 

Last week, Kentucky children ages 12 to 15 became eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Christian County Public Schools will host a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic for district students age 12 and older on May 24. Appointments need to be scheduled online. The Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration for people younger than 18. 

Christian County Health Director Kayla Bebout told Hoptown Chronicle on Tuesday that the department does not plan to offer appointments for the Pfizer vaccine. 

“We have no plans at this time to offer Pfizer since there are other entities in the county offering Pfizer,” she said in an email. 

Three Hopkinsville providers — Walmart Neighborhood Market, Kroger and Walgreens — are listed in the health department’s Facebook post as having the Pfizer vaccine. However, only Walgreens currently has Pfizer, according to vaccines.gov, which the health department recommends as a search tool. 

The regional vaccine site at the Bruce Center, one of the first offered in the state, opened on Jan. 12. Early on, it operated four days a week. As demand for appointments declined, the health department reduced the days to two per week and more recently to just one day a week. 

Sweeney Brunt confirmed to Hoptown Chronicle on Wednesday that the health department will continue to offer the vaccine to residents of other Kentucky counties, continuing the practice it observed as a regional vaccine site at the Bruce Center.

This story has been updated.

Health department is closing its COVID-19 vaccine site at Bruce Center

Jennifer P. Brown

Jennifer P. Brown is the founder and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org.