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Lauderdale County coronavirus vaccine clinics see smaller turnout than expected

Officials are concerned because not many people have been showing up to the vaccine clinics.

Posted: Apr 20, 2021 5:35 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2021 5:58 PM

This is the third week of Lauderdale County's pop-up coronavirus vaccine clinics, and they've only given out 500 vaccines. Officials said the issue is many people aren't showing up like they thought they would be.

"We've given out probably an excess of 500, which we could easily do 500 per site a day if the demand was there," said Project Manager, Mike Melton.

Melton is the project manager over the two vaccination sites. One is at Joe Wheeler State Park at the upper boat ramp and the other at Cornerstone Church of Christ. Melton said he thought they'd be giving out more vaccinations and thinks there's a few reasons why they aren't.

"I think a little bit of it is trying to get people to realize that we're here. It's a drive-thru and you do not make any appointments," said Melton.

North Alabama Medical Center's administrator, Casey Willis, said they don't really know why the public hasn't been lined up at these clinics, but some of it could be vaccine hesitancy or that a bulk of people who wanted the vaccine have been able to get it.

"I'm not sure if people are worried about long lines we've seen historically. You can see here, that's not an issue. Even if we have a bit of a line, it moves so quickly," said Willis.

Willis said whatever the reason is, the less people that get vaccinated, the more time we will spend fighting the virus.

"If you look at the Covid numbers right now across the nation, they are trending up slightly, and that's not something anyone wants to see. If vaccination is a step we can take to keep that at bay, especially here in Lauderdale and surrounding counties, we want to encourage people to do that," said Willis.

The clinic at Joe Wheeler will be open Thursday and Friday.

On Wednesday, the clinic will be off of Highway 20 in Florence at Cornerstone Church of Christ from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. All of the clinics only use the Pfizer vaccine.

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