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Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville begins COVID-19 vaccinations

Posted at 2:49 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 17:18:25-05

DANVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — It was a busy day at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville Tuesday as the regional medical center administered its first COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Last week, Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center received 190,000 calls about the COVID-19 vaccine. Hospital CEO and President Dan McKay says healthcare workers will spend one day a week administering the vaccine.

"We can do that safely. We know we are going to get 300 doses a week, that's pretty easy for us to do in one day. If we got more doses, we could get more doses, it's a matter of supply and demand," McKay said.

While the demand is high, McKay says if the hospital received more supply, they would have to move to a larger location. It's the supply Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman says she is working on improving for the regional hospital.

"It keeps an elderly person from Casey County from having to drive to Lexington to get a vaccination. But it also alleviates the large sites in Lexington because now, six or seven counties can be served here," Coleman said.

Ephraim McDowell is focused on getting people who are 70 and older vaccinated. While Bonnie Banker says she called the hospital 42 times to make an appointment, officials say an appointment is the only way to get the vaccine and next week is already booked. But officials say they have started a waiting list.

"Some people don't have the capacity to dial 42 times, so that's a little frustrating but you know, everybody here has been so incredibly kind and helpful. I came here intentionally because I knew that would happen," Banker said.

Everyone who received the first dose at Ephraim McDowell is guaranteed to receive the booster.