First local doctor to get COVID vaccine says it should’ve been the late Dr. Shadowen

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Five frontline healthcare workers were the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine at Med Center Health. 

“It’s a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us.” 

Dr. William Moss, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at The Medical Center at Bowling Green was the first of the group to get the vaccine. 

Moss said the process is just like any other vaccine he’s taken before- fill out paperwork, a shot for a few seconds and then it’s done.

It was a bittersweet day for him, as he remembered his late colleague who should have been right by his side. 

“I kinda felt a great deal of sadness because I knew in the seat that I was sitting, Dr. (Rebecca) Shadowen would have been there. And so it’s been bittersweet knowing that she’s led this fight and I know she’s looking down on us, just smiling today. It’s a great day for us all it really is,” said Moss. 

Shadowen was an infectious disease specialist who died in September following a lengthy battle with COVID-19.

He’s seen first hand what this virus does to people. 

“There are situations sometimes when we know that this is gonna be a bad outcome. And it’s really hard to muster the words to the rest of the family and how to deal with this and so forth. There have been cases recently where we have sent patients back to nursing homes because there wasn’t much else we could do,” said Moss. 

And the physical toll isn’t the worst part. He’s seen the emotional side as well. 

“A lot of people haven’t seen their mother or their fathers in several months and been in nursing homes and not been able to visit them, so there are times where we try to find a room with a glass door, a glass window, and let them come see their parents for the first time, they haven’t seen them in months,” said Moss. 

Moss said he hopes people will get the vaccine once it becomes widely available. More employees at The Medical  Center are receiving the vaccine throughout the week.