Central Ky. hospital official says federal mismanagement created concern over getting 2nd vaccine dose

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 11:34 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 4:02 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - A mix-up blamed on the federal government’s supposed stockpile of COVID-19 vaccines created some concern in Kentucky over when hundreds of health care providers would get their second dose of the vaccine.

Hundreds of health care providers in central Kentucky were on pins and needles concerning their all-important second dose of vaccines. Doctors at Ephraim McDowell were uncertain when their doses would arrive.

Dr. Chris Petrey received his second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday.

“It’s definitely a big relief for us,” Dr. Petrey said.

About 1,200 front-line medical workers will be getting the dose that brings the effectiveness to ward off COVID to 95 percent. However, it’s a dose that, until Tuesday morning, was in question as to when it would arrive.

“We found out the federal government had mismanaged what they told us previously about that, that they were going to be holding back the second dose for everyone that got the first dose,” Dr. Petrey said.

There are currently about 30 patients being treated for COVID-19 at Ephraim McDowell and the facility has reached capacity or near capacity several times since October.

Numbers are down now, but there is always the concern they could go back up. Some doctors and nurses are with those positive patients for up to an hour at a time.

“It’s a huge relief, especially for those who, constantly every day, are dealing with the patients,” Dr. Petrey said.

It takes about up to 15 days for it to become completely effective. Dr. Petrey says it’s actually a good thing if you have some symptoms.

“Low-grade fever, chills, headaches...that’s what I want to see after the second dose,” Dr. Petrey said. “That tells me my immune system is responding appropriately.”

This is also why the vaccines are not given out all at once.

Dr. Petrey says he does expect another spike in cases later this winter with more people staying indoors and around others.

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