Huntsville Hospital finished up its second mass coronavirus vaccination clinic. It administered about 9,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week.
Due to an increase in supply from the state, the hospital is giving about 2,500 new doses a week, starting Monday. One of the people getting his first dose said he's so excited because this is the first step to having a sense of normalcy.
“Let’s get back to our loved ones," said James Headrick. "I mean, I know that’s my primary concern getting to visit them in long-term care facilities, hospital procedures, medical procedures, and so on. This is a step in that direction.”
Headrick got the call on Thursday letting him know that his wait to get the coronavirus vaccine will soon be over. He's considered an essential worker and signed up on Huntsville Hospital's online portal back in January. He said he was unsure whether he was in phase 1B or 1C.
“I asked them to double-check and make sure, ‘is it my turn?’ because I just didn’t want to take it from somebody that may have needed it more," said Headrick.
But, Headrick said the staff member gave him the green light, and he's very excited to get his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
He's not the only one excited. The hospital's Vice President of Operations, Tracy Doughty, said staff at the clinic get excited every time a new shipment arrives, no matter how big or small.
“The staff's excited," Doughty said. "They love being out there. They feel they’re being part of history. They’re part of the solution, part of the solution to the pandemic. They’re part of the solution to getting back to normal, and just as important, they’re part of the solution to saving lives.”
Doughty said they will gladly have another mass vaccination clinic if the state provides them the supply.
If Huntsville Hospital receives the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, it could increase the number of doses the vaccine clinic gives daily. Doughty said it's a waiting game right now. He said the hospital requested some of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine from the state, but how much we get here, ultimately depends on how much Alabama is allocated.
Doughty said they have a distribution plan in place in case they get to administer both the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. They even have a plan if they only receive the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine to give out.
Doughty said no matter what, you should jump at the chance to get any coronavirus vaccine when you're eligible.
“The vaccines are so scarce now and so many people want them, that we’ll recommend to people that there’s three available in the US: Johnson and Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer," said Doughty. "Whichever one you get the opportunity to get, take it. Take it, take it, take it. Let's not be picky. They’ve all been vetted by the FDA.”
He said everyone at the John Hunt Park vaccine clinic remains thankful to be getting any coronavirus vaccine, regardless of which one it is.