Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville's Chief Health Strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer were one of the primary people in the town to get the Moderna coronavirus vaccine Wednesday.

The first shipment of Moderna's vaccine arrived Wednesday morning. Out of the initial shipment of 3,000 doses, more than 20 were administered throughout a press conference at Louisville Metro Department of Public Overall health.

It's the 2nd vaccine to be distributed to the city, joining last week's Pfizer shipment. Fischer said he was “elated” to possess another vaccine available.

“To have something where we are able to go on the offense is great, because we’ve been playing defense let's focus on over nine months,” he explained.

Moyer, Louisville's top health official, said she was excited, “almost to begin tears,” just before receiving her injection. Wednesday marked the 286th day her staff has been battling the pandemic, she said.

“But really, it’s several months for us, because we started tracking data and monitoring the situation from China last December,” Moyer said. “But we’ve not only been battling the pandemic, we’ve been battling for that community. We’ve labored to locate innovative methods to ensure that our clients get the services that they need to remain healthy and safe.”

Several frontline health care workers, first responders and essential city employees also received the vaccine. They included 13 EMTs, four physicians and three other health care providers.

Interim Medical Director Dr. Sarahbeth Hartlage said the first doses from the Moderna vaccine is going to be for “tier 1a” individuals, including healthcare workers like those vaccinated Wednesday. People who don't work in the three Louisville hospitals that received Pfizer's vaccine – University of Louisville Hospital, Norton Hospital and Baptist Health – is going to be prioritized. The department is partnering with UofL to help vaccinate about 250 EMTs after the entire year.

Hartlage said a drive-thru vaccination site at the Kentucky Expo Center could have a “slow launch” in early January as more doses become available.

“We’re going to take our time for you to make sure our processes are really robust and prepared,” she said. “But we anticipate running at least 1,000 people through the site the very first week. When we’re at full capacity, you should be running 1,000 people with the site every single day.”

But until more people have access to the vaccine, the coronavirus remains a threat.

Moyer stressed the importance of engaging in safeguards during holiday celebrations within the coming days.

The safest way to celebrate is to stay at home, Moyer said. People who plan to be around people outside of their immediate family is deserving of tested and quarantine before any gatherings. One more quarantine of 1 to two weeks is usually recommended for those who travel outside of the state.

“Be especially careful with Indiana and Tennessee,” Moyer said. “Those are a couple of from the top [states] for COVID spread right now. We are surrounded by a lot of coronavirus, so please stay safe at home and have a very merry Christmas and a very happy Year.”

There were 2,715 new COVID-19 cases in Louisville last week. Nearly 20% of patients in the hospital have COVID-19.