AppHarvest, St. Claire Health team up for vaccine push

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MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ) – As part of its efforts to encourage the community to support the COVID vaccine efforts , AgTech leader AppHarvest and Morehead-based St. Claire
HealthCare announced Friday a partnership to promote availability of COVID-19 vaccines in Eastern Kentucky.

Representatives of St. Claire HealthCare visited AppHarvest’s indoor farm, which spans more than 60 acres, to begin vaccinating employees, including Founder & CEO Jonathan Webb.

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AppHarvest employees became eligible for the vaccination as part of the opening of 1C vaccinations, which includes essential workers in a variety of industries such as agriculture.

“COVID has challenged us, but it hasn’t changed our mission, determination or values,” Webb said. “We’ve been fortunate to continue to charge ahead, finishing construction of our farm and hiring hundreds of employees, in the midst of a global pandemic.”

Added St. Claire HealthCare President/CEO Donald H. Lloyd, II: “We know how critical this vaccine is to the health of our community and expanding economic efforts in our region. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure everyone who needs or wants to be vaccinated has that opportunity as soon as possible.”

Dr. William Melahn, Vice President for Medical Affairs/Chief Medical Officer at St. Claire HealthCare, emphasized the safety of the vaccines: “The vaccination is a simple process that takes just minutes to complete and provides protection against an illness that impacted so many throughout our region. We are working quickly to vaccinate as many people as possible throughout Eastern Kentucky and encourage all residents to schedule appointments.”

Any Kentucky resident who is interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is encouraged to sign up for vaccine availability alerts on St. Claire HealthCare’s website by visiting www.st-claire.org/getthevaccine and click “Sign up for Alerts.” When you become eligible, and appointments are available, you will receive an automated call with instructions on how to schedule your vaccination appointment.

For additional information or for assistance completing the web form, please call 606-783-7539.

Today’s partnership is the latest in a close collaboration between AppHarvest and St. Claire HealthCare, which has seen the latter offer guidance on the company’s efforts to protect workers throughout the pandemic.

The company’s flagship farm in Morehead has been closed to visitors, and all personnel have closely observed government-issued COVID-19 recommendations, including having temperatures taken upon arrival to work and wearing facemasks and gloves.