DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - This month marks one year of COVID-19 in Alabama.
The number of people hospitalized statewide and locally is declining, something leaders say is a good thing.
Right now, there are 16 COVID-19 patients at Decatur-Morgan Hospital. Four of those patients are in ICU, and two are on ventilators.
There have been fewer than 25 patients hospitalized there since Feb. 17, the lowest numbers at Decatur Morgan in months.
Healthcare workers are trying to focus on getting another number up: the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We’re encouraged to know vaccines are coming out at a faster pace,” said Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling.
Hospital President Kelli Powers says there are 8,000 people in the hospital’s queue. Powers says there are around 4,100 first doses available, meaning demand is double the supply.
“We are doing really well with Pfizer and we should get enough I think weekly allotted to us to keep us going.,” said Powers.
The FDA just issued an emergency use authorization for the one dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and the company started shipping it out today.
Michael Glenn from the Alabama Department of Public Health says Pfizer and Moderna should have 220 million more doses by the end of March.
“All of those doses becoming available is gonna help the markets get saturated a little bit more so that people that want a vaccine can get a vaccine,” said Glenn.
Those doses are needed to roll out vaccine eligibility for more Alabamians.
“Until we get enough people in 1A and 1B vaccinated to open up to another group which has caused more frustration I believe at this point in time because we are saturated with those that are still in the priority groups that we’re targeting at this point in time,” Glenn said.
Online registration for first doses of the vaccine at the Morgan County Health Department and Decatur-Morgan hospital is currently up and running.