Local hospitals stepping up effort to get public vaccinated for COVID-19

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Metro hospitals are now stepping up efforts to get the public vaccinated.

Jenny Tucker’s coming off a crazy, hard year. First the pandemic, then a crushing breast cancer diagnosis. Both coming on the heels of adopting her 5-year-old granddaughter.

“I had a lot of fears, I had the COVID fears, the adoptive grandparent fears, what happens if and of course the cancer fears, all thrown at me at once this year,” Tucker said.

Her health is improving but she’s still being extra careful during the pandemic, because of her compromised immune system.

This week, a huge weight was lifted as Jenny got scheduled for her first COVID-19 vaccine at Truman Medical Center.

“I’m whole-heartedly thrilled to death to be able to get the vaccine,” Tucker said.

The hospital is using what it learned from mass COVID-19 testing to vaccinate health workers and now the public.

“It’s a massive logistical operation but it’s working very well,” said Truman Medical President and CEO Charlie Shields.

Between its two hospitals, more than 1,200 seniors age 65-plus and those with serious health risks are getting the shot, along with health workers, every day.

More than 12,000 doses and counting have been delivered in all.

“We feel we have a responsibility to the community as a whole and if you meet the criteria, you live in Missouri, you can feel free to call us,” Shields said.

Health worker Phil Herndon was nervous, but after hearing his TMC colleagues had a good experience, he decided to roll up his sleeves, to protect himself and his family.

“I’m glad it’s over with and can’t wait til 21 days when I get my booster shot,” Herndon said.

As supply improves with new vaccines expected soon, the hospital hopes to get even more doses into arms of people like Jenny Tucker soon.

“It’s important that you do it not just for someone in your life that may be a cancer patient or not just for someone in your life that might be raising grandchildren like I am, and that is very needed member of family, just to keep society as a whole safer, I think it’s important,” Tucker said.

To schedule through Truman Medical Center, call (816) 404-CARE.

FOX4 has reached out to several large health systems around the region.

The University of Kansas Health System has an online sign-up page to get on its wait list for the vaccine.

Shawnee Mission Advent Health will hold small clinics for its patients age 80-plus, selected at random, starting next week.

We have a full list of COVID-19 vaccine responses from Kansa City area hospitals.

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