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Federal vaccination program through FEMA launching in Laurel Co. Wednesday

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 9:40 PM EDT
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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - In Laurel County, less than a third of the population has gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, and starting Wednesday, the shots are coming to them as a federal program launches with FEMA to administer at least 42,000 shots in the next six weeks. It’s welcome attention for rural eastern Kentucky.

“We’re overlooked a lot. They don’t typically stop in our communities, small communities like ours. I will welcome them with open arms, and I’d love to see everybody get the vaccination,” Laurel County Judge-Executive David Westerfield said.

The main site will be at the Laurel County Extension Office, but FEMA will also be using mobile units to spread into surrounding counties and bring the shots directly to those wanting one.

“This will be their chance to get it. Especially the people who don’t have the ability to drive or to get to London. They’re going to go to those people,” Westerfield said.

In Laurel County, just under 7% of households don’t have a car, and 1 in 5 residents have a disability. It’s a struggle many areas face.

“That’s a problem in eastern Kentucky and I’m sure all across the United States is people don’t have the access to travel,” Westerfield said.

The program is going to the communities that are underserved, and giving them a shot at rebounding their lives and economies.

“I hope we can participate in that and get our businesses open as well by getting the vaccine,” Westerfield said.

A similar operation will open Thursday in Henderson County. The vaccinations will be offered Tuesday-Saturday each week they are operating. If you have further questions, you should contact the Laurel County Extension Office.

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