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Huntsville Hospital prepares for five-day blitz of 1,000 extra vaccinations

John Hunt Park was selected as one of the sites across the state that will house a mass vaccination clinic next week.

Posted: Feb 3, 2021 11:04 PM

As the State of Alabama works to try and keep up with the demand for vaccines across the state, Huntsville Hospital will soon be part of a statewide effort to increase the number of vaccines administered next week.

On Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced that eight sites would take part in large-scale vaccinations. Participating cities include Annison, Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Selma and Tuscaloosa.

Five categories of people eligible for the vaccine starting Feb. 8, per Huntsville Hospital:

  • Healthcare/1A worker
  • 75 or older
  • 74-65 years old
  • Essential worker
  • Education

Each site will receive 1,000 extra doses on top of what they were previously administering.

Tracy Doughty, the senior vice president of operations for Huntsville Hospital, said they are increasing the number of nursing stations in use in order to reach that new threshold.

"We run about nine or ten nurse vaccine stations now and we'll up that to about 17 for those days next week," Doughty said.

From February 8-12, there will be 50-60 people on hand, including doctors, nurses and a pharmacist to ensure things continue to run smoothly. Doughty said it's a combined effort of both staff and volunteers.

"We had a pretty good volunteer list from the community and also our employees, who are willing to volunteer and do extra work to do it. And it was pretty easy to fill the shifts," he said.

While some locations have had challenges keeping vaccine on hand each day, like at Decatur-Morgan Hospital, Doughty said Huntsville Hospital's main campus hasn't run into that issue because they have the capability to administer the Pfizer vaccine.

He confirmed on Wednesday that the 1,000 doses that make up the expansion next week will be used to give people their first shot. Doughty added that they're goal is to equitably pull from the five categories of eligible people as they are distributing these additional vaccines.

However, while the state health department described the large-scale vaccination rollouts as "starting on February 8," Doughty said don't get your hopes up that it will last beyond next week.

"We asked that question of the state. We don't think so. We think it's just a one-time extra bonus," he said.

About 150 people will be seen each hour between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. next Monday through Friday. Doughty said that will help ensure that there's enough parking for everyone and that they can properly social distance.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
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Houston10048259
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Lauderdale8581210
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Walker6504251
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Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
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Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
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Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 770940

Reported Deaths: 11321
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Shelby867941476
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Hamilton40069459
Rutherford38014377
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Macon335573
White335066
Hardin330462
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