Louisville man hoping to get COVID vaccine sooner faces bump in the road

Louisville man hoping to get COVID vaccine sooner faces bump in the road
Larry Owens was possibly exposed while serving as a volunteer at the Louisville Metro COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination clinic.
Larry Owens was possibly exposed while serving as a volunteer at the Louisville Metro COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination clinic. (Source: Larry Owens)
The Louisville Metro COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination site at Broadbent Arena opened Jan. 4, 2021.
The Louisville Metro COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination site at Broadbent Arena opened Jan. 4, 2021. (Source: Larry Owens)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Many people are still weeks or months out from getting a COVID vaccination. For those who want one, getting it can’t happen soon enough and they are willing to do what they can to speed up that process.

Larry Owens, 63, wants to get the vaccine so he can return to being with family, friends, eating at restaurants, and traveling.

“We all need to get vaccinated if we want to get back to any level or normalcy,” Owens said. “Part of our job is to stay out of the healthcare system. We have tried to take this seriously social distance, wear a mask.”

Owens falls into Tier 1C in Metro Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Group. He would be eligible for the COVID vaccine around April/May. Hoping to get it sooner, he decided to sign up to volunteer at Broadbent Arena for the city’s mass vaccination drive thru site. Those who put in 40 volunteer hours or more can get the COVID vaccine, if there are enough doses available.

“It’s a way of giving back but, also get the added benefit of getting the vaccine possibly a little quicker,” Owens said.

Owens got the green light to volunteer and did his first shift on January 14 taking people’s temperature. He was supposed to volunteer on the 20th but, the day before got a phone call.

“I got a phone call yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon saying I had a close contact while working on the 14th,” Owens said.

Owens is now having to quarantine for 14 days after being exposed to COVID while volunteering. Now, his volunteering efforts are on hold.

“It is frustrating because I’m willing to do as many shifts as I can as quickly as possible,” Owens said. “Plus I’m having to isolate and there is the added anxiety of the possibility that I have it, which I feel fine.”

Owens is grateful for that, but is hoping this setback won’t delay his hopes for an early shot at the vaccine. As of now, Owens says time slots for support volunteers are full and he doesn’t know when he can put in more hours.

“I did check with Metro Public Health and Wellness. They tell me that volunteer time slots are full, but you can be placed on a wait list. For more information on signing up to volunteer, click here.

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