| Louisville Courier Journal
Louisville, Ky. With requests for COVID-19 vaccines for people 70 or older, all three Louisville’s hospital systems have been forced to suspend new appointments – only three days after they began scheduling them.
Meanwhile, the waiting list for people seeking appointments has been reduced to about 40,000 since Friday, with the University of Louisville Health’s chief medical officer on Monday, Dr. Jason Smith said in a press call.
Smith said the demand for the vaccine is only a place of supply.
“It’s going to take a while for everyone to come in,” Smith said.
He said the region’s three major hospital systems – U of L, Baptist Health and Norton Healthcare – are trying to accommodate people on the waiting list being managed by the Louisville Health Department.
Smith said the three systems are splitting the names on the waiting list and will contact people as limited vaccine supplies become available.
“We are trying to open new appointments every week, depending on the supply of our vaccines” Smith said. “The vaccine supply has been very variable. We can get 1,000 doses a week and three or four thousand the next week.”
Your questions answered: When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky?
Those who cannot get appointments are encouraged to keep trying.
85-year-old Jim Kinsman, a retired investment manager in Louisville, said he failed to get an appointment at all three hospitals for himself and his wife, 86 – an experience he said was disheartening.
“Going online and these websites say ‘coming back later’ is so inefficient,” he said. “It’s like being online and trying to get tickets for a concert.”
Smith requested people to try to book appointments through the U Health of website and not to call University Hospital.
“Don’t call,” he said, adding L’s U is causing “thousands of phone calls” about the vaccine.
Vaccine supplies to states are specified by the federal government, and Smith said it is unclear how much is available or whether supplies are running low, as some national news reports have said.
Andy Beshear announced earlier this month that he wanted to speed up the pace of vaccination in Kentucky, focusing on the most at-risk people and school personnel to help bring K-12 back to in-class classrooms. Can meet in
All three Louisville hospital systems announced on Friday that they would begin offering vaccines to more than 70 people in addition to vaccinating their own health workers. They were quickly overwhelmed by requests.
Norton’s website says that due to high demand, “schedules are closed at this time.” Spokesperson Maggie Rotecker said Norton will add more appointments as more vaccines become available and people are urged to keep checking the website.
Background: Norton, U of L, Baptist vaccines for people 70 and older
The Baptist website also stated that it does not have any appointments in Louisville. Baptist spokesman Julie Garrison said the hospital had been “flooded” with requests and hoped to be able to make more appointments soon.
Smith said the U of L hopes to make more appointments in the coming weeks, but the fluctuating supply of vaccines authorized by the federal government makes it impossible for people to expect when they can report it .
“Ideally, we would have enough vaccines to deliver thousands and thousands of doses per day, and it is not just the reality that we are looking as far as vaccine delivery.”
Beshear announced earlier this month that anyone 70 or older would be eligible for a vaccine in state guidelines in Phase 1B for first responders with limited doses, such as police and firefighters, and school personnel. .
The first dose in Phase 1A is being given to front-line health workers and residents and staff of nursing homes.
Those 70 or older are preferred for the vaccine because they are at greatest risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
According to the State Cabinet Health and Family Service, about 500,000 people in Kentucky are 70 or older.
Smith said he is not blaming the government.
“Bigger and bigger people have done a very good job of bringing it to the states, and the states have done a very good job of getting it done,” Smith said.
More coverage: Should pregnant women take the COVID-19 vaccine?
Biden: Current Vaccine Rollout ‘A Frustrating Failure’
President-Elect Joe Biden called the current rollout of the coronovirus vaccine “a dismal failure” as he highlighted a $ 1.9 trillion plan to combat the epidemic and provide additional relief. (15 January)
But President-Elect Joe Biden criticized the outgoing Trump administration’s attempt to distribute the vaccine as a failure, saying his goal is for Americans to get 100 million COVID-19 shots in the first 100 days of his administration.
To do this, Biden vowed to bring in a wartime production law to add clinics, increase the public health workforce, and ensure adequate vaccine supplies.
So far, about 10.6 million Americans have received the first dose of the two-shot injection required for vaccines, approved by manufacturers Modern and Pfizer / BioNote for emergency use.
According to the state’s COVID-19 website, in Kentucky, which has a population of about 4.4 million, 213,567 doses of the vaccine were given as of Monday.
Kinsman said he wants someone at the state or local level to design a system in which people can reserve appointments instead of being available, instead of trying.
“Maybe they could have done something to make it a little easier for us,” he said. “I would like to know that I have a place in the line.”
For now, those wishing to take an appointment for a vaccine can continue to try to do so through the hospital’s three websites.
People over the age of 70 who already have an online patient chart through Norton will receive a direct message that will allow them to schedule a blank appointment. Others can visit nortonhealthcare.com/campaigns/covid-19-vaccine-tier1b or call 502-861-4499 to schedule.
To schedule a vaccine appointment through Your Health of You, visit uoflhealth.org/louisville-covid-19-vaccinations.
Baptist Health has an online registration portal at baptisthealth.com/vaccine/schedule-now.
Latest Number: Less than 2,000 cases of coronovirus reported on Monday