The state just moved to allow people ages 65 and up to now get the coronavirus vaccine starting Feb. 8. However, even with the state getting more vaccines, it's still not enough, according to hospital officials.
So far, Helen Keller Hospital has vaccinated 1,200 people ages 75 and older since last week, but they still have thousands in that category on the waiting list and no new shipment of vaccines.
"We hope to receive a new shipment next week. We're not sure exactly when that will arrive. We're not sure exactly how much we will get, but as soon as we get it again, like last time, we hope to have shots in arms within days," said Helen Keller Hospital President Kyle Buchanan.
Buchanan said they've prepared new waiting lists to apply to people 65 and up, now that they are eligible to get vaccinated.
"We've already developed websites that aren't live yet for those new categories again on the ADPH website. The categories are listed and we've just created lists for each of the categories and all we have to do is press a button to make it live so people can sign up," said Buchanan.
WAAY 31 asked the state directly what this means for people under the age of 65 with underlying health conditions that would make them more vulnerable to the virus. The state said, "We expect that some persons with underlying health conditions will be part of the 1B group." Buchanan said determining that isn't known.
"We're not sure yet and we're taking it one step at a time, not to be cliche. Once we get to that point, we will be working closely with the state on how to identify individuals and how we make sure that there will be some degree of the honor system, I'm sure, and we will have to work very closely with the public to make sure we have the right people in the front of the line who are most at risk," said Buchanan.
Buchanan said the hospital is keeping Thursdays and Fridays open to hold mass vaccination clinics when they get more vaccines. The hospital is in the process of updating websites to allow people 65 and older to get on the waiting list.