COVID-19, other vaccinations available; Health department has no waiting list

The current pandemic has brought heightened attention to vaccines, with the COVID-19 vaccines a topic for discussion among many. This week is World Immunization Week, designed to spotlight many important available vaccines in addition to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Bell County Health Department Nurse Supervisor Trissa Wilder talked about vaccinations available at the facility, beginning with the increased availability of the COVID-19 vaccines.

When the Health Department first began administering COVID-19 vaccinations, appointments were not always readily available. This has changed, according to Wilder.

“We no longer have a waiting list,” Wilder said.

She pointed out currently there are many other locations administering vaccinations, which may be a factor making the shots more accessible.

“ARH, most of the pharmacies, Kroger and Walgreens are giving it,” Wilder said. “I think it’s just more readily available.”

She mentioned the recent pause in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine may also be a factor.

“I think that scared people,” Wilder said. “They have brought J&J back on, there’s no longer a hold on it.”

Wilder mentioned some may believe the COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective since it is possible to be vaccinated and still catch the virus.

“The big reason (to be vaccinated) is it will prevent hospitalization and death,” Wilder said.

Wilder emphasized it is important to get the second dose for those who receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The Bell County Health Department is currently administering the Moderna vaccine.

Wilder also talked about other immunizations available at the Bell County Health Department.

“We do childhood immunizations, and we also do adult immunizations,” Wilder said. “We do the flu vaccine every year.”

Wilder said the Bell County Health Department also offers vaccinations for Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and others.

Most vaccinations do not require an appointment.

“With the COVID-19 vaccine, you need to schedule an appointment just because of the way it’s bottled and shipped,” Wilder explained. “It comes in 10 doses to one vial, and once you break that seal you only have a certain number of hours to give that vaccine. So, with COVID-19 they need to be scheduled an appointment. With any other vaccine, we will take walk-ins.”

Wilder mentioned the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.

“I want to encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccine, to get back to some sort of normalcy and decrease the spread of the virus,” Wilder said.

For more information on available vaccinations, go to the Bell County Health Department’s website at https://bellcountyhealthky.org/services/ or call the Bell County Health Department at 606-337-7046.