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COVID-19 Vaccine Requests For Residents 70 And Older Now Being Accepted

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Mary Meehan
/
Ohio Valley ReSource

The Christian County Health Department on Monday began taking COVID-19 vaccine requests via an online form for residents who are 70 and older.

Although the department is still working through phase 1a of the state’s vaccination plan, it expects to move to phase 1b, which includes residents 70 and older, in early February.

“Please understand that this does not mean you have been signed up for an appointment, but once the appropriate form is submitted, the Christian County Health Department will call and coordinate with you or your agency as we make our way through the phases,” the health department said in a Facebook post regarding the online sign-up forms. “Completing the forms will put your name on a list. You may or may not be immediately contacted depending on where we are in the phasing process.”

Phase 1a includes health care personnel and long-term care residents. The health department, which is responsible for vaccinating all “non-hospital” personnel who fall within phase 1a, received a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines two weeks ago. Jennie Stuart Medical Center is responsible for vaccinating all hospital employees and affiliated providers, and long-term care vaccinations are being coordinated by CVS and Walgreens.

Residents 70 and older who cannot access the online form may call the health department at 270-887-4160, ext. 108.

“We are strongly encouraging them to go online. We are getting flooded with calls, but we understand that everyone does not have internet capabilities,” health department spokeswoman Amanda Sweeney told Hoptown Chronicle.

Current phase includes health care workers, long-term care residents

As of Wednesday morning, the health department had administered 274 coronavirus vaccines, spokeswoman Amanda Sweeney said. The department was unable to provide the total number of “non-hospital” health care workers within the county.

“We will not have the ability to calculate the ones that have turned down the vaccine,” Health Director Kayla Bebout said. “Health care rosters are only turning in those that want it, and we do not know (how) many they employ.”

Health care agencies not affiliated with Jennie Stuart Medical Center who have not yet signed up to receive the vaccine can do so by completing the health department’s COVID-19 survey for health care workers.

During a call last week with local health officials and the media, representatives from the health department and Jennie Stuart urged local health care workers to take advantage of the opportunity to receive the vaccine earlier than others.

Vaccine availability for general public expected in early summer

Sweeney estimated it would be early summer before the coronavirus vaccine is available to the general public.

As the health department pivots to focus on distributing vaccines to the community, it has announced that COVID-19 testing at its Tie Breaker Park site will be offered on a more limited basis. Sweeney has said the department is working on plans for a drive-thru vaccination clinic.

(Julia Hunter is the engagement editor for Hoptown Chronicle. Reach her at julia@hoptownchronicle.org.)

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