First coronavirus vaccine administered at Huntsville Hospital

The first Huntsville Hospital employee to be administered the vaccine, Dr. Jeffrey Walker, said it was very exciting.

Posted: Dec 16, 2020 7:38 PM
Updated: Dec 16, 2020 7:54 PM

Wednesday morning, the first Huntsville Hospital employee was administered the coronavirus vaccine.

You could almost feel the relief among the hospital staff in the room. Right after the first vaccine was administered, the room erupted in applause.

"Everyone's very excited. I know all the staff that I've spoken to are excited about getting vaccinated," said Dr. Jeffrey Walker, Huntsville Hospital trauma surgeon.

"I think as nurses and doctors, we are leaders of the community. And we are glad to show the community that this is what we need to be doing," said Rachel Morris, registered nurse at Huntsville Hospital.

Morris was administered the vaccine just seconds after Dr. Walker. She says that everyone has the right to do what they want.

"But in the medical community, we believe, I believe in medicine. This is what I think is best for myself," said Morris.

Dr. Sherrie Squyers says getting the vaccine was like getting a flu shot.

"It hurt just a little bit, but not more than you would expect from a normal vaccination," said Dr. Sherrie Squyers, Medical Director of Huntsville Hospital's Emergency Department.

Huntsville Hospital plans to vaccinate around 200 of their employees on Wednesday. They need to stagger frontline workers from receiving the vaccine, though, so not everyone from one shift gets vaccinated on the same day. That's in case there are any reactions to the vaccine.

Squyers has seen the impact of the pandemic firsthand.

"We see in the emergency department, we see people coming to us that are sick from this thing. They're having trouble breathing, they can only say a few words at a time, some of them have to be intubated right away because they're in so much respiratory distress," said Dr. Squyers.

Hospital employees hope that as more people get vaccinated, the mortality rate will go down.

"Well, hopefully, we can roll it through the hospital staff and get elderly populations vaccinated as soon as possible and that will hopefully cut down on mortality," said Dr. Walker.

The hospital's goal is to vaccinate frontline employees over the next two weeks.

"And then hopefully, you know, a lot more of the people out practicing in the community, nursing homes and those people that are first. And then, there's a tiered system that's been determined not by us but by the state and the people who give us the vaccines," said Dr. Squyers.

Huntsville Hospital says they are getting some indication they will get more vaccines at the end of this year or the beginning of 2021.

Hospital employees that received the vaccine on Wednesday will be administered the second dose in three weeks. The state of Alabama is holding those doses for Huntsville Hospital. The hospital just needs to order them.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530011

Reported Deaths: 10946
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763591519
Mobile40875804
Madison34676503
Tuscaloosa25717451
Montgomery24308585
Shelby23389248
Baldwin21093307
Lee15844169
Calhoun14481313
Morgan14281279
Etowah13813353
Marshall12203222
Houston10553280
Elmore10036205
Limestone9952150
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St. Clair9634239
Lauderdale9413241
DeKalb8821185
Talladega8210175
Walker7222277
Autauga6914108
Jackson6803111
Blount6645136
Colbert6291134
Coffee5503118
Dale4826111
Russell440038
Chilton4263111
Franklin425482
Covington4120117
Tallapoosa4006152
Escambia393276
Chambers3559123
Dallas3544151
Clarke350861
Marion3111100
Pike310177
Lawrence299898
Winston273772
Bibb260463
Marengo249164
Geneva248777
Pickens233760
Barbour230757
Hale222577
Butler215869
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184345
Randolph179941
Monroe177040
Washington167039
Macon158650
Clay155956
Crenshaw151957
Cleburne148741
Lamar141834
Lowndes138553
Wilcox127029
Bullock123041
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa107128
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 852072

Reported Deaths: 12245
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby955251616
Davidson89317933
Knox50606634
Hamilton44219493
Rutherford43026434
Williamson27986217
Sumner23978349
Montgomery20232225
Wilson18779233
Out of TN1839297
Unassigned17048134
Sullivan16760294
Blount15486193
Bradley15010149
Washington14582245
Maury13493172
Sevier13377175
Putnam11376175
Madison11164242
Robertson9755131
Anderson8758172
Hamblen8604173
Greene7864155
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Coffee6903121
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Carter6628158
Gibson6524145
McMinn650698
Bedford6502128
Roane6281105
Jefferson6198124
Loudon612469
Hawkins6050107
Lawrence593087
Monroe583795
Warren554881
Dyer5423106
Franklin514690
Fayette506177
Cheatham454755
Obion453896
Cocke449699
Lincoln435263
Rhea434375
Marshall418658
Campbell415463
Weakley412564
Giles3995100
Henderson378876
White363270
Macon361778
Carroll361483
Hardin357167
Hardeman351864
Lauderdale318544
Henry317976
Claiborne317773
Marion312547
Scott311645
Overton300861
Wayne296134
Hickman283846
McNairy281654
DeKalb279554
Smith277439
Haywood271162
Grainger262550
Trousdale250022
Morgan249739
Fentress241347
Johnson240839
Chester214351
Bledsoe214011
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Unicoi203449
Cannon192031
Union190534
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Lewis158126
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Houston109333
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