COVID-19 vaccinations at Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital started offering vaccinations against the COVID-19 virus, and several people from Hancock County received the first of two shots last Thursday.  Patsy Young, Linda Robbins and Logan Robbins recounted their experiences getting the shot.

“I felt very fortunate to be able to get it,” Hawesville resident Patsy Young said. “I called and waited 25 minutes on the phone. After 20 minutes, I got worried.”
Young’s brother Logan Robbins said he also waited for a long time on the phone before being able to schedule his and wife Linda’s shots. He said a great demand exists for the vaccination, so people need to be patient and just wait on the phone until someone answers.
“There are so many people calling,” Robbins said.

Robbins said he saw a commercial on television with a number for people to call for the vaccination. He wrote the number down, and gave it out to his friends and loved ones.
Robbins said he, his wife Linda and sister Patsy Young went together to receive their shot.

All of them described the process as very orderly and efficient.

Young said they went in door B at the hospital, and encountered the sign-up table and waiting area as soon as they entered. Linda Robbins said a staff member took their temperature upon arrival, and then gave them forms to fill out.
“It was really well set up,” Young said. “You knew what you were going to do at all times.”
Linda Robbins said after filling out the paperwork, staff members then instructed them where to go next. She said they simply needed to follow the footstep trail on the floor to go where they needed during each step of the procedure.
As for the shot itself, it went smoothly for all three of them.
“My arm was a little sore,” Linda Robbins said.
Patsy Young likened the shot to getting a flu shot. She said her arm did become a little sore to the touch, but nothing worse.
“It was never extremely sore,” Young said.
After getting their shots, staff then instructed them to wait in a large, theater style room for 15 minutes.

This was to see if they reacted to the shot.
“After 15 minutes they let us go out,” Logan Robbins said.
As they made their way out, a scheduler made an appointment for them for their follow up booster shot. Each receives their next shot on February 5.
Young said a nurse at the hospital told her to take some Tylenol if the pain in her arm became great. Young said she did not because it did not really bother her at all.
“I felt alright when I went to bed, and I felt alright when I got up,” Young said. “I never did feel bad or anything.”

Logan Robbins said to make an appointment at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, call 270.685.7100. More importantly, he said if a person gets through, do not hang up, just stay on the line. It takes time for the scheduler to get to all the calls, so just be patient.
“I waited on the phone for a long time,” he said.

As of press time, no location in Hancock County is offering the shot.

Poole’s Pharmacy Care in Lewisport is on the list to receive the vaccine sometime in the near future.
“We do not have a definite time yet,” relief pharmacist Tim McDaniel said. “We hope to get it in the next few weeks.”  In the meantime, he said the pharmacy started to develop a list of people wanting the vaccine. He said people need to call 270.295.3131 and asked to be put on the list.
“Just give us a call,” McDaniel said. “People over 70 come first.”

The Hancock County Health Department also offers COVID-19 vaccinations, but at this time it is not open to the general public.  The state developed a priority list to follow to give the shots. Right now the health department is working on the 1A list, which is healthcare workers and people in long-term care facilities, said Green River Health Department Public Health Director Clay Horton.

“We started administering the shots last week,” he said. “The shots administered at long-term care facilities come through CVS and Walgreens.”
Healthcare workers wanting to receive a COVID-19 vaccination need to register online at https://healthdepartment.org/ and fill out the survey. He said someone from the health department regarding scheduling a shot would then contact the workers.

Horton said one requirement from the state is that agencies with the vaccine need to administer 90-percent of the vaccine within a week. He said if it is coming close to the end of that time and an agency has vaccine left, the agency may then skip ahead to the 1B priority list, which includes police officers and teachers.
Horton said the situation remains fluid, with changes in the vaccination requirements happening almost on a daily basis.

By Ralph Dickerson

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