AppHarvest and St. Claire Regional Medical Center announced a partnership to clear the misconceptions of the COVID-19 vaccines.

St. Claire representatives visited Friday AppHarvest’s 60-acre Morehead indoor farm to vaccinate employees. AppHarvest’s employees became eligible with the opening of vaccination category 1C, which includes essential workers in a variety of industries.

“COVID has challenged us, but it hasn’t changed our mission, determination or values,” said Founder and CEO Johnathon Webb. “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.” 

According to Chief Medical Officer at St. Claire HealthCare Dr. William Melahn, a major issue around the vaccine is misconceptions such as it causing fertility issues. The misconceptions decreased the confidence the people have in the vaccine as well as their willingness to receive.

The misconceptions were a driving factor in this partnership. 

“We understand there are some misconceptions out there about the vaccine,” said Webb. “AppHarvest has had a spotlight on us over the last year and if we can shine that spotlight a little beyond our walls, we want to do it. To be able to get the vaccine here means hopefully people will have the confidence  a little bit to go make their appointments.”

Webb was the first or six individuals to receive the vaccine during St. Claire’s visit. 

“We know how critical this vaccine is to the health of our community and expanding economic efforts in our region,” St. Claire HealthCare President and CEO Donald H. Lloyd, II. “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.” 

St. Claire receives weekly shipments of the Moderna vaccine that can be used on individuals in group 1C and above in the region.

“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,” said Melahn. “We are working quickly to vaccinate as many people as possible throughout Eastern Kentucky and encourage all residents to schedule appointments.” 

All Kentucky residents who are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine are able 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.” 

Alerts will be sent out when appointments are available and the individual is eligible.