“We released appointments on our website on Monday at 11 a.m. and they were full within just a few minutes,” said Director of Pharmacy Stacey Zorska.
She says 210 people age 80 and older were given the shot Saturday in accordance with Ohio’s Phase 1B.
“A bit relieved,” said Jean Neumann of getting the vaccine.
A feeling shared by Herb Myers. “I feel safer and I hope that everybody gets it and feels this way.”
But Zorska says the demand far exceeds the current supply. “I have enough vaccine to give everybody a second dose, that’s been committed to us. So if they’re getting a vaccine today they’ll be able to get their second dose from us in four weeks.”
Some vaccine recipients say it took them several weeks to get an appointment.
“I’ve been looking to find a place that did it,” said Neumann, 82.
Others had family members help them navigate the technology. But they say it’s worth it.
“I just want that and the second one and then wait 14 days and then I go out again with my friends,” said 80-year-old Renata Matney.
“I have a girlfriend, I’m 89, she’s 91 and you know what we enjoyed life but we also, when this came along, we stopped. We stopped completely and so now we want to go back to the restaurants and do what we used to do,” said Myers.
And soon more Ohioans will be looking to make their appointment, as the state opens vaccination to those 75 and older next week.
Southwest General says appointments will be released when they have more supply in hand and say that is the most challenging part of this process.
“We are not able to do so yet because we have not received confirmation from the state when we’ll receive additional phase 1B vaccine,” said Zorska. “We would have a clinic 5, 6 days a week all day if we had enough vaccine.”
Still, she says, they’re glad to be able to start protecting those in their community.
“Vaccinating individuals after so many months of COVID brings us hope. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever been involved in in my career,” Zorska said.