Hospital staff unsure when vaccine will be available for those not on the front lines

Hospital staff unsure when vaccine will be available for those not on the front lines

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In Madison County, front line health care workers and first responders, like firefighters and police officers, are starting to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

But - what about the rest of us? Health leaders told our Kate Smith more vaccination sites will soon be needed.

Coronavirus vaccines are bringing hope to millions of Americans as COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb to levels we’ve never seen before.

North Alabama is being rocked with cases after what hospital leadership calls a post-Thanksgiving surge. “In the Huntsville Hospital Health System, this morning as of 10 a.m. we had 497 COVID positive inpatients in our hospitals,” said Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers. “Two hundred and 36 are in Madison County.”

74% of the roughly seven thousand doses of the Pfizer vaccine Huntsville Hospital received on December 15 have been administered to health care professionals.

“The vaccine is being allocated based upon the criteria we received from the ADPH. On their website we are still in Group One A. Those are health care workers and we are trying to get as many of those people vaccinated as possible.”

Late last week, the Huntsville Hospital System also received an additional 6,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine. “We got Moderna vaccine at Decatur, Hellen Keller, Marshall and Highlands.”

Spillers said there was a lag in employees signing up to receive a vaccine because of the Christmas Holiday. “People heard, if I get the vaccine, I am going to feel bad. Our schedule didn’t fill up as much as we would have hoped right there before Christmas because people didn’t want to have any side effects over Christmas. It actually has filled up really good this week. I am very pleased with the way people are signing up now.”

If you are not in Group One A it is still unclear when you will be able to receive a vaccine.

Spillers said the hospital will not be able to accommodate all the people who will need a vaccine.

“We are going to need many more sites giving vaccines than we have today. We are going to need physicians’ offices and pharmacies we are going to need a lot of outlets vaccinating people. We are going to need to distributing vaccines to locations when we hit One B to get further down this list.”

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