Coronavirus vaccine appointments intended for underserved populations being taken by others

As of 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, the locations in Bayou la Batre, Greensboro and Moulton were fully booked for appointments.

Posted: Feb 25, 2021 11:44 PM
Updated: Feb 26, 2021 9:53 AM

Thursday marked the first day of vaccinations in nine select CVS locations across the State of Alabama. 

That morning, Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris emphasized the importance of the locations of these sites. 

SVI rankings for Lawrence County, Alabama (between 0-1):

  • Overall - 0.4858 (low to moderate level of vulnerability)
  • Socioeconomic theme - 0.7861 (high level of vulnerability)
  • Household Composition/Disability theme - 0.5135 (moderate to high level of vulnerability)
  • Minority/Language theme - 0.3457 (low to moderate level of vulnerability)
  • Housing/Transportation theme - 0.1436 (low level of vulnerability)

"We contacted CVS and asked for a call and we told them we would like to put them in our high SVI counties. And we were really pleased that they were excited to do that. They were very cooperative," Harris said.

The Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) is a CDC tool that uses data from the U.S. Census to determine which counties are more at risk during a major impact event, like a hurricane or a pandemic.

For instance, 2016 data from the SVI showed that Lawrence County has an overall rank of 0.4858 on a scale of 0-1. Harris said it's crucial that these populations 

"Our most vulnerable counties typically are very rural and actually are typically very small. They don't have really large populations," Harris said.

"What we are making sure that we do is that we go out of our way to recruit additional providers in those communities to make sure that there's other places where people can get the vaccine."

CVS echoed a similar sentiment on Thursday. Pharmacist Meg Sanders said reception from those communities that they're trying to reach has been positive so far.

"They're happy to have this here. And as we continue to get more allocation of vaccine, we hope to continue to spread to other communities that are within that demographic and that need our assistance. So, we're here to support them when we have the available resources to do so," Sanders said.

However, the reach of the vaccines in Moulton went beyond the target demographic of local rural and minority communities. At least one Huntsville resident was able to make a vaccine appointment on Thursday. 

Sanders said they would have to check and see what CVS as a company is doing to ensure that vaccines reach those intended when the specific sites were chosen.

Some who got the vaccine on Thursday, like educator Melcha Satchel, said he wasn't bothered by the idea of someone from Huntsville getting the vaccination in Moulton.

"If it's here in this area, I can't blame somebody that's willing to drive because if you say 'north Alabama,' that's still going from here all the way over to the state line. So, if they're willing to drive over here to get it, I don't have a problem with that. It's serving its purpose," Satchel said.

The Colbert County High School principal received his first vaccine dose on Thursday. He said rather than trying to prevent people from outside Lawrence County from getting the vaccine, Satchel said he would rather see a larger effort to educate those within the county that there is more vaccine in their community. 

"That's what I would like to see. For me, I would load up in my car and go anywhere to get the vaccination," Satchel said.

CVS recieves about 11,700 doses of the Pfizer vaccine each week. Sanders said to check their website regularly since there's no set timeframe for when new vaccine appointments become available. 

As of 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, the locations in Bayou la Batre, Greensboro and Moulton were fully booked for appointments.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522131

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754831494
Mobile39111799
Madison34084500
Tuscaloosa25396444
Montgomery24037573
Shelby23210242
Baldwin20714302
Lee15614166
Calhoun14350311
Morgan14164273
Etowah13696348
Marshall12007220
Houston10408279
Elmore10018203
Limestone9858148
Cullman9507191
St. Clair9478236
Lauderdale9271233
DeKalb8760183
Talladega8122173
Walker7146276
Autauga6760106
Jackson6760110
Blount6529133
Colbert6234132
Coffee5431113
Dale4779111
Russell430939
Franklin420982
Chilton4114110
Covington4068115
Tallapoosa3915148
Escambia390374
Dallas3525150
Chambers3516122
Clarke347260
Marion3072100
Pike306576
Lawrence296295
Winston273272
Bibb256361
Marengo248461
Geneva246275
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213168
Fayette209460
Henry188144
Cherokee182744
Randolph177241
Monroe172740
Washington165338
Macon156148
Clay150155
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock121940
Conecuh109528
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 830484

Reported Deaths: 12049
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby927281585
Davidson87309923
Knox49411623
Hamilton43254481
Rutherford41816420
Williamson27237214
Sumner23155339
Montgomery19075224
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Gibson6387144
McMinn634295
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Jefferson6061121
Loudon601169
Lawrence578686
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Monroe570295
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Obion449996
Cocke442998
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Rhea430375
Lincoln429563
Marshall410358
Campbell408462
Weakley401962
Giles393998
Henderson372475
Macon357376
Carroll357182
White353968
Hardin349166
Hardeman345863
Lauderdale314244
Henry311875
Marion308346
Claiborne305573
Scott305145
Overton296360
Wayne294234
Hickman279645
McNairy276754
DeKalb274953
Smith273938
Haywood268161
Grainger258449
Trousdale248722
Morgan245539
Fentress238046
Johnson230238
Bledsoe209411
Chester209351
Crockett200948
Polk199024
Unicoi194149
Cannon188831
Union185634
Grundy177232
Humphreys173621
Lake169526
Sequatchie166428
Benton162940
Decatur157338
Lewis155726
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Perry105728
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