The Medical Center at Bowling Green is seeing an “overwhelming” response to its COVID-19 vaccination program as community members are eager to receive their doses.
Currently, The Medical Center is administering more than 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccines daily.
But because of the massive demand, it sometimes takes days just for people to hear back on when they can get vaccinated.
“There is such a huge, huge demand for the vaccine,” Med Center Health Vice President of Corporate Support Services Dr. Melinda Joyce said. “It takes a long time just to get scheduled. We are asking the community for patience. We are working as diligently as we can to get people vaccinated and to beat this pandemic.”
Joyce said The Medical Center has administered more than 6,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the public. That number includes people who have received their second dose.
“We are trying to make it as smooth as possible,” Joyce said. “Once they come in for their first dose of the vaccine, we immediately get them scheduled for their second dose.”
The wait time depends on a number of variables, including how many people are helping with scheduling at a given time and how many vaccines are available.
Joyce said the number of people on the wait list is changing by the hour.
“I fully understand that people are anxious to get the vaccine, because we are very anxious to administer it,” Joyce said.
One problem The Medical Center has seen with registration is some people are sending multiple emails and text messages in an attempt to speed up the process. However, repeated submissions only reset the request and will result in a lost scheduled appointment.
Individuals who qualify under the age requirements for this priority Phase 1B (being at least 70 years old) can add their name to the scheduling request list by texting SENIOR to 270-796-3200. After this step, it could be a few days before you hear back about your appointment.
Alternatively, email email@example.com with your full name, date of birth and phone number. Using either method, your name will be placed in queue and you will be contacted when an appointment time becomes available.
Joyce said 20 to 25 people at a time are working to assist the effort through registration, documentation and administration of the vaccine. Many of the people working at the clinics are volunteers.
Availability for the public to receive the COVID-19 vaccine runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday each week. However, Joyce said that could change in the future.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being used by The Medical Center. The wait time between someone’s first and second dose depends on which vaccine they receive.
Wait time for the Pfizer vaccine has to be as close to 21 days as possible between doses. The wait for the second dose of the Moderna vaccine has to be as close to 28 days as possible.
It has been more than one month since The Medical Center received its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Joyce said The Medical Center hasn’t been notified on when Phase 1C (anyone over 60, anyone over 16 with a condition that makes them high-risk and all essential workers) of the vaccination effort will begin.
However, she said she has been pleased with the response from the community, despite less than ideal wait times.
“It’s just been fantastic,” Joyce said. “I’m just happy to be a part of this. You can still see the smile on people’s faces when they come in despite the masks they are wearing.”
– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.