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Athens Limestone Hospital employees receive coronavirus vaccinations

In Limestone County, health care workers rolled up their sleeves.

Posted: Dec 15, 2020 6:01 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2020 7:28 PM

Tuesday was the day thousands of people have been anticipating since the pandemic began.

Across the country, a mass vaccination effort is underway. North Alabama was no exception. In Limestone County, health care workers rolled up their sleeves.

Since March, Dr. Hanserd has been waiting for this moment.

"There's a lot of sense of relief," Hanserd said.

He received the first dose of Pfizer's vaccine Tuesday at Athens Limestone Hospital. Nearly 2,000 of the doses were shipped to the hospital this week.

"I know we have several hard months ahead of here at the hospital to take care of people with COVID, but I will say that after I got the vaccine, I felt very relieved," Hanserd said.

Those directly treating coronavirus patients will receive the vaccine first. Hanserd has been in charge of the coronavirus response team. He said he is hopeful this will help relieve the staffing issues they have been experiencing.

"We'll end up working for just several, several weeks on end, and with as many patients as we're seeing, that's just not something that is good for anybody," Hanserd said.

Athens Limestone Hospital is one of the first hospitals to receive a shipment of vaccines. That is because it has freezer capability.

The Chief Nursing Officer and Interim Hospital President Traci Collins said more than 50% of their employees said they would get vaccinated.

"Seeing that they're willing to get it and be the first one in line, it gives me comfort and it lets me know, hey, these guys are super smart, they study science, they study research and if they think it's safe for them, they are not going to do anything to jeopardize themselves that would be detrimental to them, so I honestly trust them with my life," Collins said.

For Hanserd, he said while this has been an expedited process, he trusts the science.

"Once it gets FDA approval, having it in hospitals in two days, and then, having it in people's arms 24 hours after that, that's quite the process," Hanserd said. "I can't take away from any of that. I mean, there are so many people that are working on this that aren't me, that aren't frontline health care workers, and we're thankful for all those people."

Some of the vaccine trials were done across from the hospital. Dr. Hanserd called those who participated, the real heroes.

In the next few days, Athens Limestone Hospital will set up a mobile unit to administer the vaccines to Decatur-Morgan and Helen Keller employees.

All of these hospitals are part of the Huntsville Hospital System.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498887

Reported Deaths: 10122
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719121402
Mobile36328740
Madison32639469
Tuscaloosa24372421
Montgomery22765520
Shelby22231218
Baldwin19890289
Lee15057158
Calhoun13901294
Morgan13770255
Etowah13407325
Marshall11452213
Houston10130264
Elmore9499190
Limestone9429138
St. Clair9041227
Cullman8991183
Lauderdale8618214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7628165
Walker6593259
Jackson6551104
Autauga633392
Blount6246128
Colbert6004121
Coffee5268104
Dale4676107
Russell407333
Franklin400078
Covington3998106
Chilton3902103
Escambia379273
Tallapoosa3631143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3422142
Pike293273
Marion288595
Lawrence285386
Winston258568
Bibb245758
Marengo243057
Geneva240570
Pickens225557
Barbour213951
Hale212269
Fayette202257
Butler201766
Henry183641
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165140
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146555
Clay146054
Cleburne139941
Lamar133933
Lowndes132851
Wilcox122825
Bullock117436
Conecuh107024
Perry106227
Sumter100432
Coosa90224
Greene88732
Choctaw55423
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 780894

Reported Deaths: 11534
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby877551513
Davidson81978873
Knox46346589
Hamilton40635463
Rutherford38663387
Williamson25433204
Sumner21498320
Montgomery17505213
Out of TN1711195
Wilson16553211
Unassigned15813126
Sullivan14489275
Blount14167184
Bradley13039141
Washington12834234
Maury12262162
Sevier12127165
Putnam10647170
Madison10130231
Robertson9016121
Hamblen8086165
Anderson8075158
Greene7317145
Tipton6972103
Coffee6423115
Dickson6274106
Gibson6197141
Cumberland6130123
Carter5996155
McMinn596293
Roane593896
Bedford5826120
Loudon573567
Jefferson5700119
Lawrence557883
Monroe536990
Warren532877
Hawkins527898
Dyer5243101
Franklin475485
Fayette468673
Obion437095
Lincoln415962
Rhea415373
Cocke402596
Cheatham396344
Marshall392257
Campbell382859
Weakley379660
Giles375597
Henderson362374
Carroll349281
White339766
Hardeman339165
Macon337473
Hardin331963
Lauderdale309742
Henry301475
Marion295245
Scott288344
Wayne288230
Overton286258
Claiborne283769
McNairy268653
Hickman267141
DeKalb266951
Haywood264960
Smith257736
Grainger244946
Trousdale239822
Morgan230838
Fentress229644
Johnson217338
Chester202448
Bledsoe201210
Crockett197647
Unicoi181647
Polk178722
Cannon178030
Union173334
Grundy170130
Lake167926
Sequatchie157227
Humphreys155221
Decatur154137
Benton151139
Lewis147525
Meigs126923
Jackson125734
Stewart124125
Clay107131
Houston103732
Perry103628
Moore94616
Van Buren79720
Pickett74623
Hancock49712

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