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Madison County hospital leader says next phase for coronavirus vaccinations could start soon

Dr. Pam Hudson says Madison County is still in phase 1A, meaning vaccines are given out to health care workers.

Posted: Jan 6, 2021 7:16 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2021 8:30 PM

Madison County health officials expect to be vaccinating people who are 75 years or older in the county in the next week or two. That's according to Crestwood Medical Center's CEO, Pam Hudson.

Dr. Pam Hudson says Madison County is still in phase 1A, meaning vaccines are given out to health care workers. On Tuesday, she explained who is next in line to get the vaccine in phase 1B.

"Citizens who are 75 years of age or over. The reason for that is that is the group that has the most devastating illness and the highest death rate," said Hudson.

Hudson said even if someone over the age of 75 has gotten coronavirus already, the current recommendation is that they should still get the vaccine. She also said the current recommendation for someone like that is to wait 90 days before getting the vaccine.

Hudson also talked about other people who would be eligible to get the vaccine during phase 1B.

"Within that, you'll see what we have been referring to in our community as essential or frontline workers, city workers, infrastructure. Folks who are meeting lots of people because it's their job. People who work in grocery stores and pharmacies and things like that," said Hudson.

As for the registration process, Hudson said she didn't have any specifics just yet but to be on the lookout for that information.

Officials say the county is still in phase 1A because of scheduling and the high number of medical workers in the county who wanted to get the shot.

"If you've got a unit that's staffed with 20 nurses, for example, you don't want to send them all down to get vaccinated on the same day. So, we are phasing those so that we, if there are side effects, and somebody has to be out of work, we're not taking out 50% of the staff for that unit," said Hudson.

Hudson said both hospital systems in Madison County have distributed pretty much every dose of what they received for the first coronavirus vaccine distribution. She also said they are working to get the vaccine to dentists and pharmacists in the county.

Huntsville Hospital reports more than 8,000 vaccines have been given out to its employees. Hudson says around 1,000 Crestwood Medical Center employees were vaccinated already.

"We've vaccinated about 35 to 40 percent of our workforce and that's with some reluctance to get the vaccine simply because of the holidays. Didn't want to get the vaccine before Christmas, didn't want to get the vaccine right before the New Year's weekend," said Hudson.

Hudson also said Crestwood Medical Center received more doses of the vaccine Wednesday and will administer it to more of their health care employees as soon as possible.

Just this week in cities across the country, we have seen reports of ambulance crews being told not to transport patients because there are not enough beds and supplies at hospitals.

Even though Huntsville and the surrounding areas have much less of a population, we wanted to know if that was a concern here in North Alabama. Health officials say right now, there are enough supplies, especially PPE and ventilators, in Madison County.

"Our biggest shortages are not in the PPE and they're not in other supplies, and right now, they're not in ventilators. This issue is ICU capable beds and all the hospitals are repurposing rooms to allow for the care of very sick patients," said Hudson.

Hudson said county hospitals are operating at an all time high of COVID-19 patients. She also said the most precious resource right now is staff.

Because of the resources going to COVID-19 patients who need care, Hudson said there is a backlog in the emergency rooms.

"ERs are typically a place where high level care is rendered and so those patients who need ICU beds end up getting held in the emergency room longer than what any of us would like because our ICU beds are full," said Hudson.

Hudson also said another reason for the backlog in the emergency rooms is because coronavirus patients in the ICU stay in the hospital for a long period of time.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
Etowah12070181
Calhoun11496206
Marshall10420123
Houston8988164
Limestone832081
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Elmore8183110
DeKalb7871107
Lauderdale7847107
St. Clair7808130
Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
Conecuh97822
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
Choctaw51924
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 705876

Reported Deaths: 8819
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby783871172
Davidson72746692
Knox39988439
Hamilton35697337
Rutherford34042295
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Sumner18744232
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Madison9309183
Robertson788687
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Greene6749115
Tipton636869
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Cumberland554476
Bedford543091
Roane532481
Lawrence522169
McMinn520374
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Jefferson493378
Dyer485286
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Hawkins458672
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Obion405882
Rhea390657
Lincoln387246
Marshall356538
Cocke355760
Cheatham348531
Weakley345148
Henderson337059
Campbell336440
Giles332476
Carroll317160
White316946
Hardeman314754
Hardin305450
Lauderdale298834
Macon293951
Wayne270124
Henry267858
Overton259546
McNairy247142
DeKalb247042
Haywood245047
Marion235332
Smith234830
Trousdale230715
Scott229732
Hickman228935
Claiborne227432
Fentress216734
Grainger216039
Johnson205034
Morgan194616
Crockett183138
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Cannon161420
Lake158421
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Polk148517
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Humphreys137217
Benton133835
Lewis130921
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