How easy is it to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Bowling Green?

As COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out in Kentucky, many people have questions about the accessibility of receiving the vaccine.

According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Health Services, as of March 1, people who fall into phases 1a, 1b, and 1c are eligible to get the vaccine. People 16 or older, including college students, will be eligible for the vaccine on April 12.

Vaccines are available at Walgreens, Kroger, and many medical centers in Bowling Green.

WKU on Wednesday also began offering on-campus vaccinations to students, faculty, staff, contract employees and their families. More information can be found here.

Melinda Joyce, Med Center Health vice president, said the Med Center put a lot of thought into making it convenient for people to get vaccinated.

“Our idea is that we don’t want people to have to wait a long time,” Joyce said. “We want people to make it as simple [as possible] so that they will be glad they got their vaccine. There’s nothing worse than wanting to get the vaccine but finding out that it’s a real hassle. And so we did not want that.”

Joyce said most people were able to get their vaccine appointment within the few days they were looking if they were getting vaccinated in Bowling Green.

“It may not be the exact time they want there may be a little bit of flexibility there,” Joyce said. “For the most part, we’ve been able to accommodate people. Now I do know, again in other parts of the state, that the availability of appointments is not as great. And so people have had to wait several weeks to get an appointment.”

Samantha Sallee is a freshman from Danville. Sallee is considered an essential employee so she was able to get fully vaccinated in March.

“I was waiting for my group to open up in Kentucky and it did much earlier than I think most of us expected,” Sallee said. “I was constantly checking the website for a location in the Bowling Green area. I found a few Walgreens locations that had appointments available. It took me to their website and they asked me a few questions about my eligibility.”

Walgreens allows you to schedule your first dose and then set up an appointment for your second dose in three or four weeks.

“When scheduling through Walgreens they also go ahead and give you options to schedule your second dose date and time along with the first,” Sallee said. “It was an extremely easy and quick process scheduling, as well as getting the shot done itself.”

Sallee said she had experienced no side effects after getting vaccinated.

“I know some people experience a sore arm for the following day,” Sallee said. “I didn’t even have that side effect. That’s really the only one I ever hear people talk about after the first shot though.”

Madison Carter is a freshman studying journalism from Shepherdsville. She said she was having difficulties finding an appointment for her vaccine.

“I kept checking for a few weeks but I couldn’t find any,” Carter said. “I want to get vaccinated soon but I’m currently trying to decide which vaccine I want to get since so many are available.”

Joyce Augustine is a freshman studying journalism from Louisville. She is currently scheduling her first dose of the vaccine after quarantining due to exposure to COVID-19.

“My hope is that I can finally be around my friends and loved ones again like we used to and not have to worry about getting them sick,” Augustine said. “It’s really hard being away from family members that you’re very close with, so I don’t see why anyone would choose to not get it.”

She said she encourages anyone eligible to get vaccinated to do so as soon as they can.

“It’s the right and healthy thing to do,” Augustine said. “COVID can’t just magically go away on its own and it won’t go until we do our part.”

Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy