Healthcare facilities seeing lower vaccine demand across the Shoals

Updated: Apr. 25, 2021 at 2:30 PM CDT
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MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WAFF) - Healthcare facilities in the Shoals have a huge supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, but the number of people who want the vaccine is extremely low.

Helen Keller President, Kyle Buchanan, said there are not enough people getting vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity

“Very frankly, 34, 36 percent is not enough,” said Buchanan.

According to The Alabama Department of Public Health, less than 40 percent of the population has received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in both Lauderdale and Colbert counties. Buchanan said this isn’t because of a vaccine shortage. It’s actually opposite.

The supply is exceeding the demand.

“Since that big wave of people, every clinic has had availability. We have not filled, or had the community take up every slot in weeks,” said Buchanan.

In the last month, local entities in Lauderdale county have put vaccine clinics in rural areas to effort bridging the divide between vaccine equity.

Project manager for these clinics, Mike Melton, said they’re only giving out 50 vaccines a day out of the 500 daily limit they have. Helen Keller Hospital Officials are concerned with the numbers across the Shoals.

“But at this 34, 36 percent we will continue to see transmission throughout our community. We will continue to see admissions as we’ve seen at our hospital this week. It’ll just continue at this rate and with no real way to move forward unless we get these vaccines done,” said Buchanan.

He said since April 1st, they’ve given out less than 4,000 doses.

“We need people to make sure they are getting the resources that they need and get the vaccine. That’s the 100 percent. No doubt about it. That’s the best way for us to protect ourselves and even move one step out of the woods of this pandemic and hopefully get to the point where this is behind us,” said Buchanan.

Drive-up clinics will be held next week in Lauderdale County for those who need a vaccine. One vaccine clinic will be held on April 26 through April 30 at Cornerstone Church in Central from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

An additional clinic will be held on Tuesday at the Joe Wheeler State Park Boat Ramp from 8 a.m. until supplies are gone. Helen Keller Hospital will also hold a vaccine clinic on Tuesday at Sheffield Housing Authority from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Appointments are not required for any of the clinics.

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