The Medical Center at Bowling Green is now the site of mass distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine for area health care workers.

In conjunction with other health care entities such as Graves Gilbert Clinic, the hospital has been administrating the Pfizer vaccine. An estimated 500 health care workers have received vaccinations since the program started.

Med Center Health Vice President of Corporate Support Services Dr. Melinda Joyce said the vaccine distribution will resume Sunday at the WKU Health Sciences Complex after pausing Friday.

“This is really our first real hope of getting back to our real way of life,” Joyce said. “Seeing more vaccines come in is really so positive. I wish everyone can see the smiles that workers have had when they come in knowing they are about to get the vaccine. I’m honored to be a part of this.”

Dr. Mark Knoll, a physician with McPeak Vision Partners, received his vaccination Wednesday and urged others to do the same.

“The risk of having a negative reaction to it is incredibly low. I’m not a high-risk individual, but I work with older patients. It would give them more confidence and a higher feeling of safety if they knew I got the vaccine,” Knoll said.

Knoll said he felt normal after receiving the vaccine but had a little soreness.

“It feels like a light at the end of the tunnel with that first dose,” Knoll said. “Hopefully, enough people get it and we will be back to normal again soon.”

Barren River District Health Department Public Health Services Coordinator Chip Kraus touted the importance of the vaccine being administered on a large scale.

“It’s really important for the community because it ensures our safety,” Kraus said. “It’s also important that our health care workers get the vaccine in order to fight this pandemic.”

Dr. Debra Sowell, a pediatrician at Graves Gilbert Clinic, has helped monitor those who received the vaccine.

“This is a full community effort,” Sowell said. “So many people have been so appreciative of this opportunity. Some have cried with joy.”

Health care workers who meet the state’s phase 1A criteria can make an appointment by emailing their full name, cellphone number and the name of their health care employer or clinical education program to

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit

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