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Kentucky Hospitals Experiencing COVID-19 Appointment Backlog

Lisa Autry

Kentucky hospitals say they can’t keep up with demand for the COVID-19 vaccine.  A scarcity of supply has given hospitals thousands more appointments than they can accommodate. 

The Medical Center at Bowling Green has received more than 12,000 requests for appointments the hospital hasn’t been able to schedule because it hasn’t received enough vaccine. 

"I am so, so very pleased with the desire for vaccine coming that's coming from our community," said Dr. Melinda Joyce, Vice President of Corporate Support Services for Med Center Health. "It's fabulous we have this many people who want to get vaccinated, and that's what we've always wanted from the very beginning."

Joyce is asking for patience and encourages the public not to submit multiple requests for appointments. Doing so, she said, will overwhelm the system and delay appointment dates even further.

Joyce added the hospital doesn’t find out how many doses it’s receiving each week until the Friday before, making scheduling appointments difficult.

The Medical Center is hosting vaccination clinics for residents of eight counties in south-central Kentucky. The hospital has so far immunized more than 10,000 healthcare workers, long-term care residents, first responders, seniors over the age of 70, and K-12 school employees.

Appointments can be made by texting SENIOR to 270-796-3200 or via email

Appointment scheduling for the COVID-19 vaccine is currently on hold at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.  The hospital says it is booked into March based on the current allocations it's expected to receive.  However, vaccinations are continuing for those who already have appointments, as well as those who are due for their second dose. 

Owensboro Health is currently immunizing healthcare workers, first responders, and seniors over the age of 70.

T.J. Regional Health, with hospitals in Glasgow and Columbia, has established a waiting list for people 70 and older who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those interested should either complete an online form, or call 270-659-1010.

Baptist Health Hardin in Elizabethtown is booked into February and has put a hold on future appointments.

"We don't want to schedule more appointments for vaccinations than what we actually have supply of, and the state doesn't know yet what it will be able to allocate to us for the month of February," said Steve White, Assistant Vice President of Operations, in an interview with WKU Public Radio.

Baptist Health Hardin is currently immunizing healthcare workers and seniors over the age of 70.

More information about Kentucky's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan is available here

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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