Owensboro Health is still in the process of vaccinating health care workers and hopes to be through tier one employees by early next week, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis DuFrayne.

Dr. Michael Kelley, vice president of medical affairs for Owensboro Health, previously said that tier one employees includes staff and health care employees with direct patient contact, such as critical care doctors and nurses as well as front desk employees.

DuFrayne said OH has vaccinated between 1,600 to 1,700 employees. According to Brian Hamby, marketing coordinator, that number of employees equates to 40 to 45% of the staff who have been given the vaccine.

To date, DuFrayne said OH has received 6,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

He said the system expects to begin administering booster shots beginning Jan. 21.

“So far, it’s going really well,” DuFrayne said. “We’ve made very good progress but we are not at the end yet. I think by the end of this week we’ll be through all of our tier one, but at the same time, because we’ve gotten the bulk of them, we have opened it up to other tiers within our organization.”

At this point, DuFrayne said the state has asked for vaccinations not to be opened up to the public.

However, he said OH has been in the process of opening vaccinations up to other tiers, and has also been working with the Green River District Health Department to help vaccinate non-hospital-based, essential health care workers in the community.

“As we get closer to vaccinating the health care workers in our region and if we have extra doses, then we will reach back out to the state and start looking at other parts of our community, such as those 65 or older, particularly those with pre-existing medical conditions,” DuFrayne said. “When the state opens it up to the community, we will be a ready participant in that.”

When asked if any healthcare employees have declined the vaccinations, Hamby said employees are scheduling their own shots rather than opting in or declining vaccination.

“It’s hard to say how many have declined because people really aren’t opting in or declining; they’re just coming in for a shot,” he said. “We only know how many people have come roughly and we know more people are coming.”

DuFrayne said OH encourages everyone who is eligible within the health system to receive the vaccine.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

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Evelyn Miller


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