SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch - Flood Watch - Flood Warning View Alerts

'You can't beat it': Efficient process leads to successful first day of mass vaccinations

Many of the people who received doses at John Hunt Park Monday said they were in and out within a half-hour.

Posted: Feb 9, 2021 9:55 AM

With Alabama’s expansion of vaccine eligibility Monday, more than 1.5 million people are now able to receive the vaccine.

At John Hunt Park, Huntsville Hospital’s Community Vaccination Clinic planned to administer nearly 1,700 doses during the site’s first day handling mass vaccinations.

From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., a seemingly constant stream of appointments walked in and then back out of the doors of the Jaycee Community Building. Even with a goal to vaccinate nearly 2,000 people Monday, many said their entire process lasted about 30 minutes.

Sparkman High School teacher Erin Wooten was among the group eligible to be vaccinated for the first time Monday and described the process as "streamlined."

"Yeah, it was super quick,” she said. “Everybody was super professional and helpful and I just walked right in and within maybe three minutes I had my shot."

Wooten allowed me to time her experience from the moment she walked in the building to the moment she made it back out. All in, from check in to vaccination to observation and out, it was 22 minutes flat. Hard for even her to believe.

"I was surprised, I thought it wouldn't be as efficient as it was,” Wooten said. “It was super, super streamlined."

Some teachers said they were so excited to hear that they'd been bumped up to phase 1B that they signed up as soon as registration opened. The decision to get vaccinated wasn't just about them, but also their students and their families.

Now with one dose down, some say they'll feel more comfortable around their students.

"I feel so relieved because I'm a slightly higher risk group anyway because I have some illnesses and there's been a lot of kids in my classroom and I've been really nervous about this and knowing that I'm going to be OK in a little while makes me just -- I'm able to rest easy,” Rachel Mellen, a Huntsville City Schools teacher, said.

Mellen hopes the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel on the road back to some form of normalcy. She described the process as super-efficient with a dose in her arm just minutes are arriving.

That experience was nothing unique Monday. Many of those who rolled up their sleeves experienced the same thing.

"You can't beat it,” Tony Martinez said after his first dose. “I was in there, what, a total half-hour.”

With 16 vaccination stations set up inside the building, Huntsville Hospital says it's on pace to vaccinate more than 1,500 people each day, so long as the vaccine supply is there.

Of that group, about 1,000 will receive their first doses each day this week. There is enough vaccine to get the hospital through this week, but Jeff Samz, Huntsville Hospital’s COO, says they’ll have to cut back the total number to 500 new doses and 500 second doses as early as Saturday.

“That's the pace we can go with the vaccine we have and then we'll just kind of adjust based on how much vaccine we get,” he explained.

If they start to run low on vaccines, they'll likely stop taking new appointments to ensure that there are enough second doses for those who need them.

The hospital says this is a pace it hopes to keep, vaccine permitting, and cited appointments a major difference-maker. Currently, vaccinations are being done on an appointment-only basis and those who show up without one will be turned away.

Huntsville/Redstone
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 55°
Muscle Shoals
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 56°
Decatur
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 56°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 56°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493252

Reported Deaths: 9929
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson709861374
Mobile36108725
Madison32405455
Tuscaloosa24110410
Montgomery22565500
Shelby21929215
Baldwin19732283
Lee14961153
Morgan13659251
Calhoun13275286
Etowah13176319
Marshall11261209
Houston10086261
Elmore9376185
Limestone9359134
Cullman8891181
St. Clair8822223
Lauderdale8603211
DeKalb8446175
Talladega7517163
Walker6518255
Jackson6492102
Autauga626491
Blount6097127
Colbert6001118
Coffee5245102
Dale4640107
Russell404730
Franklin399177
Covington3957106
Chilton3870100
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3585142
Clarke343650
Chambers3410110
Dallas3403141
Pike293372
Lawrence282984
Marion281895
Winston246767
Bibb245060
Geneva239670
Marengo235855
Pickens224654
Barbour211551
Hale209768
Fayette200256
Butler196166
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163640
Washington156535
Clay144354
Crenshaw144354
Macon142043
Cleburne137739
Lamar132833
Lowndes131051
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105527
Sumter98331
Coosa88823
Greene87632
Choctaw55023
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 775004

Reported Deaths: 11411
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby872191491
Davidson81420861
Knox45877581
Hamilton40298459
Rutherford38301383
Williamson25238203
Sumner21329315
Montgomery17380212
Out of TN1693194
Wilson16371210
Unassigned15639125
Sullivan14318273
Blount14036181
Bradley12867139
Washington12759234
Maury12203163
Sevier12011163
Putnam10592169
Madison10092229
Robertson8941120
Hamblen8013162
Anderson7971156
Greene7283145
Tipton6945103
Coffee6311114
Dickson6205106
Gibson6187140
Cumberland6102121
Carter5962152
McMinn591791
Roane588896
Bedford5789119
Loudon567965
Jefferson5642118
Lawrence556383
Monroe532290
Warren530975
Hawkins523894
Dyer5234101
Franklin472585
Fayette466171
Obion436694
Rhea414473
Lincoln413362
Cocke397593
Marshall390756
Cheatham390543
Campbell380059
Weakley378659
Giles373296
Henderson361973
Carroll347981
Hardeman338164
White337166
Macon336373
Hardin331163
Lauderdale309742
Henry300675
Marion293644
Wayne287130
Scott286843
Overton284857
Claiborne278967
McNairy267253
Hickman264941
Haywood264860
DeKalb264349
Smith255636
Grainger242446
Trousdale238922
Morgan229637
Fentress229144
Johnson216338
Chester201548
Bledsoe200110
Crockett197147
Unicoi180347
Polk175522
Cannon174529
Union171933
Grundy168330
Lake167826
Sequatchie155327
Decatur153737
Humphreys153221
Benton150739
Lewis146825
Meigs125921
Jackson125034
Stewart123324
Clay106930
Perry103227
Houston102732
Moore94416
Van Buren79520
Pickett74623
Hancock49612

Community Events