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Hope, relief fill many elderly as they await for COVID vaccine appointments

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 5:25 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - As seniors are among the most at risk for COVID-19, vaccinations for that demographic have begun in Warren County. People in the eligible groups able to sign up for appointments.

“There’s a big relief. I’m really excited about it,” said Terri Turner who has registered to receive the vaccine and now awaits her appointment time. “I’m very anxious to get mine, so I’m gonna feel a lot of relief once I get both [doses].”

Many seniors in the community are breathing a sigh of relief as the vaccine for them is here or on the horizon.

“I’m very excited about it, and all my friends are just excited and just anxious to get. We think it’s a wonderful thing,” said Turner.

Turner has had to adjust her way of living in the past ten months in order to protect her health.

“I go early in the morning, at six or seven o’clock in the morning, and you know, wear my mask and all that kind of thing,” she said.

The pandemic has not only disrupted everyday activities and hugs from grandkids but also added unwelcome emotion.

“Especially at first, yes, I was very fearful,” she explained.

The 70-year-old registered to get an appointment for the vaccine as soon as it was made available and says she is ready to protect herself from the virus she’s seen some of her loved ones battle.

“There has been some fear. My sister and my brother in law, both are just getting over COVID. And I’ve had friends who have lost loved ones, and it is fearful. But at the same time, I have faith,” said Turner.

The 2019 US Census reported people 65 and older make up 13 percent of Warren County’s population which equates to 17,276 people. Through the community’s response, it’s clear that many of them want the vaccine.

“We’re so pleased with the community interest and we’re going to get to everybody, it’s just going to take some time,” said Melinda Joyce, Vice President of Corporate Services at Med Center Health.

So Turner, like so many others, are standing by, knowing the feeling of relief now will be elevated after receiving that appointment confirmation, and then tenfold after the first and second dose.

“I think that gives everybody a little bit of a sense of hope we’re gonna get back to where we were before,” said Turner.

If you’re 70 and older and would like to register for an appointment, text ‘SENIOR’ to 270-796-3200 or email vaccine@mchealth.net.

Officials with the Med Center say they are unable to prioritize individuals with additional health concerns in the 70 and up group. They explained that the goal is to simply vaccinate as many people as possible, and those coordinating efforts would take time away from administering vaccinations.

The Barren River District Health Department will be vaccinating individuals 70 years of age and older on Thursday at each of its eight local health departments. All appointments are booked at this time. They will share information on how to book an appointment when openings become available.

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