SALYERSVILLE – Now is the time to get your COVID-19 vaccine, local health officials say.
Magoffin County Public Health Director James “Pete” Shepherd told the Independent the health department is slated to receive 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine next week, with plenty of appointments still available.
“This isn’t forever,” Shepherd said. “They won’t keep sending us the vaccines if we can’t use them all up, so get the vaccine while you can.”
Right now, the Magoffin County Health Department is scheduling people 18 and older for the vaccines, with Shepherd noting that anyone over the age of 18 can call and get an appointment to be vaccinated against the virus. People can call the Magoffin County Health Department at 606-349-6212 to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine.
Shepherd also noted that the Floyd County Health Department has extra doses of the vaccine and people from Magoffin can also be vaccinated there by calling 886 -2788 and asking for Leslie.
Walgreens has started taking appointments for the vaccine, with people able to go online at www.walgreens.com to schedule their first and second appointment for the Pfizer vaccine. People will have to fill out a brief questionnaire to determine eligibility and make or sign into their Walgreens account to schedule the appointments.
Also available in this region, people can still call or go online to get on the vaccine list at any of the following providers: Paul B. Hall Medical Center, Highlands ARH, Pikeville Medical Center, Kings Daughters in Ashland, ARH West Liberty and Saint Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead.
As it stands, the CDC has released that the vaccines are effective for at least six months, but studies are still being done to determine the full time of effectiveness.
“The main thing is we have kids going to school,” Shepherd explained. “Two students tested positive this week. If you get it and go home, you’ll give it to your kids. If your kids get it at school, you’re going to catch it. Every parent should have the vaccine, as well as every grandparent.”
When asked about the safety of the vaccine, Shepherd noted he’s been vaccinated for three months now.
“It’s been proven safe,” Shepherd said. “We’ve had 20 deaths over the past year and they range between the ages of 43 and 98. It’s just common sense to me. The more people who take it, the less it spreads, and the less people get sick.”
While people may be more skeptical of outside statistics, Shepherd said the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine is evident locally, with COVID-19 numbers going down exponentially since the vaccines became available in Magoffin County.
Out of the last 10 local cases, Shepherd said four of those individuals were under 18 years of age (not able to receive the vaccine, yet).
“The vaccine works,” Shepherd said. “You may get sick a little bit after the second shot, but you won’t get the virus.”
Shepherd also explained that having the virus once does not make people immune to catching it, again, with the CDC stating that it will generally protect the person for up to 90 days, though there have been at least two cases in Magoffin County where people have tested positive for the virus, again, less than 90 days after having COVID-19.
He also noted that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are very effective with all strands of the coronavirus, and that even when someone does contract the virus, they likely will not require hospitalization.
To date, 1,058 people have tested positive for COVID-19 from Magoffin County, nine since last week’s paper printed. The death rate stands at 20 COVID-19 related deaths in Magoffin, which includes the deaths reported from the Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Shepherd said there was another probable COVID-19-related death this week, as well, but that has not been confirmed within his reports at press time.