Huntsville Hospital focused on mass coronavirus vaccinations

More than 20,000 people have already signed up to be vaccinated by the hospital since the state entered phase 1B.

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 6:31 PM

Across the Huntsville Hospital system, hospitalizations and staff coronavirus cases are decreasing.

According to numbers released by the hospital Thursday, there are currently 365 inpatients in the system. On Monday, there were 409.

A nurse prepares a dose of the coronavirus vaccine at the Huntsville Hospital community vaccination clinic Monday.

David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital’s CEO, said he believes the drop is, in part, thanks to the lack of a New Year’s surge.

“The huge surge we got from Thanksgiving to Christmas, that bolus of patients are working their way out of the system,” he said. “We didn’t get another surge like we thought for New Year’s, so we didn’t have any replacing those. So at this point, we’re just discharging more patients than we’re admitting.”

Throughout the pandemic, the hospital system has also struggled with high numbers of staff cases. Recently, Spillers said they’ve seen a decrease of 20-30% in terms of staff members out with coronavirus.

“Following the same trend we've got in the community,” he said. “So, again, I don't want to get too excited, 'cause it could all change tomorrow, but right now, we're all trending in a good direction."

He believes masking has made a difference. With the state’s Safer at Home order extending the mask mandate into March, Spillers said he believes it will be important long after the order expires.

As vaccinations continue around the nation, Spillers said there is a lot of work that still needs to be done at the local level to meet goals -- like President Biden’s plan for 100 million during his first 100 days.

"One: we need to have virtually unlimited access to vaccines. Two: we need to significantly expand the number of sites where people can get a vaccine,” he explained. “If we're gonna vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people, we need hundreds of sites vaccinating people."

Places like pharmacies, physicians’ offices, hospitals and health departments need to be part of the effort, but vaccines are still in short supply and Spillers says efforts need to be made to ramp up distribution.

The hospital has already had 20,000 people sign up to be vaccinated, a process that Spillers believes is going to take a while, even with 500 to 700 vaccinations each day, since 20,000 people require 40,000 shots.

“There are people out there that are frustrated 'cause they can't get it right now, obviously, and I heard what they said, but at the same time, there is a shortage. We still don't have all we need,” Spillers said.

“Early in the pandemic, we had the same issue with testing and over time, we fixed that. I think over time, we'll fix the issue with vaccinations and they'll be readily available and everybody can get one when they want one.”

According to the state vaccine dashboard, more than 640,000 doses of the vaccine have been allocated for Alabama, yet just under 450,000 have been delivered.

As of Thursday, the health department reports 202,643 doses have been administered.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 849978

Reported Deaths: 12217
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby952081613
Davidson89184932
Knox50513634
Hamilton44114491
Rutherford42950433
Williamson27935217
Sumner23921348
Montgomery20138225
Wilson18742233
Out of TN1833397
Unassigned16961134
Sullivan16691290
Blount15441193
Bradley14983149
Washington14535244
Maury13450171
Sevier13341175
Putnam11342174
Madison11132241
Robertson9737131
Anderson8750172
Hamblen8597173
Greene7840155
Tipton7317101
Coffee6894121
Dickson6827110
Cumberland6704128
Carter6595156
Gibson6514145
Bedford6500128
McMinn648998
Roane6267105
Jefferson6177124
Loudon610369
Hawkins6005107
Lawrence590186
Monroe582095
Warren554181
Dyer5416105
Franklin513890
Fayette503576
Cheatham454155
Obion453396
Cocke448699
Lincoln434563
Rhea434075
Marshall417858
Campbell415163
Weakley410164
Giles3992100
Henderson378476
White362469
Macon361578
Carroll361283
Hardin356967
Hardeman351064
Henry317476
Lauderdale317444
Claiborne317273
Marion312247
Scott311445
Overton300661
Wayne295935
Hickman283546
McNairy281054
DeKalb279254
Smith277139
Haywood270562
Grainger261950
Trousdale249922
Morgan249139
Fentress240947
Johnson238839
Chester213851
Bledsoe213011
Polk206224
Crockett202848
Unicoi202249
Cannon191731
Union190434
Grundy178934
Humphreys178726
Lake170226
Sequatchie169429
Benton165740
Decatur158439
Lewis158126
Meigs138325
Stewart132228
Jackson131935
Clay110131
Houston109133
Perry106228
Moore101017
Van Buren84623
Pickett75924
Hancock58812

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