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Med Center Health Pharmacist Vineet Patel helps prepare doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to Community Health employees at The Medical Center WKU Health Sciences Complex in Bowling Green, Ky., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

The Medical Center at Bowling Green’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic is now administering the Pfizer vaccine for children at least 12 years of age.

Med Center Health began administering doses to the new age group Sunday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine last week.

Med Center Health Vice President of Corporate Support Services Dr. Melinda Joyce said the clinic is already receiving feedback from parents who want their children vaccinated.

“Getting kids vaccinated is just great,” Joyce said. “There is a real rising interest we are seeing for this age group, and there are a lot of kids within it.”

Joyce said Med Center Health has administered more than 82,013 doses of vaccine corporatewide, with more than 70,000 of those coming at the clinic in Bowling Green.

Despite The Medical Center’s progress with vaccine administration, appointment numbers have slowly started to decrease during the past few weeks.

Joyce said the lowest response is coming from people 30 to 50 years old. The clinic is still seeing strong numbers from younger people.

“There is a lot of misinformation on social media about the vaccines,” Joyce said. “I also hear a lot of people say that they didn’t get the flu vaccine so they don’t see why they should get this. They are not seeing the greater good in play.”

Joyce said The Medical Center has seen a “vast decrease” in patients at the hospital who are ill with COVID-19. She said that is a sign vaccines are working.

Med Center Health is also joining with other entities in the area in advancing the local vaccine effort.

“Not only are we giving the vaccines here, but we are partnering with the pediatrics department at Graves Gilbert Clinic and Bowling Green Internal Medicine and Pediatrics,” Joyce said. “We order the amount of vaccine that we need here, and our supply is still strong. We are sharing with The Medical Center’s other locations throughout the area.”

Joyce said the clinic has plenty of open appointment times available, and they are also still accepting walk-up appointments.

The Barren River District Health Department is seeing similar trends with vaccination numbers as well.

Director Matt Hunt said appointments are slowly decreasing, and the officer no longer has a waiting list for those seeking vaccine.

“People can make an appointment whenever they want to,” Hunt said. “Observationally, we are seeing more younger people coming in now. There was a greater rush of people at first.”

Hunt said more than 22,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in the health department’s eight-county network.

Currently, it is administering the Moderna vaccine. Hunt said the department is awaiting emergency authorization to use Moderna for children at least 12 years old similar to the recent development with Pfizer.

The health department’s supply of doses is also now order-based.

“It was based on limited allocation, but now we can order what we need based on appointments,” Hunt said. “It is much, much easier to manage clinics now. Now, we can schedule appointments weeks in advance. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s still important to wear a mask in specific areas.”

The Kroger pop-up clinic at the former Sears location in Greenwood Mall closed permanently May 8.

Kroger Nashville Division Health and Wellness Leader Jeremy Crain said more than 25,000 shots were administered at the site.

Vaccines are also readily available in several pharmacies in Bowling Green. The website www.vaccinefinder.org shows which pharmacies have vaccines currently in stock and what type of vaccine is available.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.