ASHLAND, Ky. (WOWK) — The effort to get everyone quickly and conveniently vaccinated against COVID-19 in one Kentucky city is becoming more creative.
When you think of a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, you may think of a hospital or pharmacy setting.
However, Wednesday King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) partnered with a local fast-food franchise to get Pfizer shots into the arms of those who serve the community.
The McDonald’s in Ashland is serving up more than just burgers in an effort to do just that. Ashland, a city home to nearly 22,000 people, is located along the state’s northeast border with Ohio.
“Today we are hosting a restaurant employee COVID-19 vaccination clinic,” said Becki Carpenter, local store marketing director for McDonald’s, on Wednesday.
Although some 73,000 vaccinations have already been given in the region by KDMC, this joint effort between local McDonald’s franchises and KDMC is aimed at getting community immunity numbers up even higher.
“No matter what situation it may be—if it is in the healthcare industry, if it’s in the fast-food industry—whatever it may be we’re just trying to help and get the vaccine out to people and make it as accessible to them as possible,” says Bob Hammond, clinic coordinator for KDMC.
McDonald’s employees say having a COVID-19 vaccination clinic right there in the lobby of the restaurant is extremely beneficial.
“It’s definitely going to help. I mean, it’s already a struggle to go into the hospital itself and have an appointment set up to get the COVID shot, so that fact that you can come to work and have the opportunity there is absolutely amazing,” says Courtney Willett, an employee at McDonald’s in Greenup.
In fact, employees say accessibility is a common barrier for those in service industries trying to get vaccinated.
“I think a lot of people should be doing this, because I personally talk to friends who work at like Walmart, Aldi’s, and other places and they don’t have this opportunity. Their job nowhere said ‘hey, you can go at this place, and do it at this time.’ They just said, ‘this is gonna be a requirement, or you should do this, you have to find time to do it on your own,’ and I mean, it’s hard!” Willett says.
So to make it a little easier, the McDonald’s lobby—still closed to the general public—is being put to use.
“Not only is the clinic open to our employees, but we have communicated with other restaurants in the Ashland/Boyd County area and have invited them to bring any employees that have not received the vaccination to this free clinic today,” Carpenter says.
Those who got their shots today seem to agree:
“It’s a good thing, cause I want to get this mask off my face!” says William Ferguson, employee at McDonald’s in Catlettsburg.
The vaccination clinic lasted from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
If you missed it and still want to get vaccinated, KDMC is hosting a drive-thru Johnson & Johnson clinic on June 21st at 2406 Carter Avenue in Ashland, Kentucky—by appointment only.
That clinic will run from 8:00am to 5:00pm, seven days a week.