The Grayson County Health Department announced Monday morning that its Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccination waitlist has been completed.

“We have finished the 1B waitlist,” Grayson County Public Health Director Josh Embry said in a statement. “However, there were a few names on the list that we couldn’t contact for various reasons. If your name was on the 1B waitlist and you haven’t had your shot, please contact us immediately at 270-259-3141.”

According to Embry, the health department will no longer use a waitlist effective this week, and, instead, will make appointments for those in phases 1A-1C over the phone when appointments are available. He said this will simplify the process.

The health department’s announcement accompanies its push to encourage local residents to schedule appointments to receive a COVID-19 vaccination when their opportunity arises.

In a statement on the health department’s Facebook page, Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins shared his thoughts regarding the vaccine.

“After the first shot, I had some swelling in one of my lymph nodes, and I was unable to sleep for a couple of days,” Chaffins said. “After the second shot, I had a low grade fever, chills, and an awful headache for 24 hours. Once the 24 hours passed, I was 100% again.

“If you would have told me that I was going to have those side effects prior to the shot, I would have still gotten vaccinated. If getting the vaccine means that our kids can get back in school, restaurants can open to full capacity, and our kids can play sports with gyms at 100% capacity — and that our lives can return to normal, I’d take the vaccine 100 times.

“I trust the chemists, scientists, and medical doctors with decades of experience and education that tell me it’s safe,” Chaffins said. “I don’t listen to what social media ‘doctors’ and conspiracy theorists tell me.”

In his COVID-19 update on Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that, beginning Monday, March 22, all Kentuckians ages 50 and older will be eligible to sign up for COVID-19 vaccination appointments, as well.

Beshear also said that all Kentuckians ages 16 and older will be able to sign up for appointments by April 12.

“Kentuckians deemed most vulnerable should still get priority, and they will, but we can’t have these vaccines sitting in a freezer,” Beshear said. “We are in a race against the COVID-19 variants, and we’ve got to get it out fast.”

According to the Grayson County Health Department’s Thursday update, Grayson County’s total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 2,030 since the start of the pandemic, with 16 new cases and one new death reported between Monday and Thursday. This brings Grayson County’s COVID-19 death toll to 53.

As of Thursday, 30 individuals were isolated with active cases of the virus, and two were hospitalized. To date, 1,947 have recovered from positive cases.

For more information about COVID-19 and the vaccines, visit graysonhealthcenter.com.

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