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Huntsville Hospital focused on mass coronavirus vaccinations

More than 20,000 people have already signed up to be vaccinated by the hospital since the state entered phase 1B.

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 6:13 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2021 6:31 PM

Across the Huntsville Hospital system, hospitalizations and staff coronavirus cases are decreasing.

According to numbers released by the hospital Thursday, there are currently 365 inpatients in the system. On Monday, there were 409.

A nurse prepares a dose of the coronavirus vaccine at the Huntsville Hospital community vaccination clinic Monday.

David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital’s CEO, said he believes the drop is, in part, thanks to the lack of a New Year’s surge.

“The huge surge we got from Thanksgiving to Christmas, that bolus of patients are working their way out of the system,” he said. “We didn’t get another surge like we thought for New Year’s, so we didn’t have any replacing those. So at this point, we’re just discharging more patients than we’re admitting.”

Throughout the pandemic, the hospital system has also struggled with high numbers of staff cases. Recently, Spillers said they’ve seen a decrease of 20-30% in terms of staff members out with coronavirus.

“Following the same trend we've got in the community,” he said. “So, again, I don't want to get too excited, 'cause it could all change tomorrow, but right now, we're all trending in a good direction."

He believes masking has made a difference. With the state’s Safer at Home order extending the mask mandate into March, Spillers said he believes it will be important long after the order expires.

As vaccinations continue around the nation, Spillers said there is a lot of work that still needs to be done at the local level to meet goals -- like President Biden’s plan for 100 million during his first 100 days.

"One: we need to have virtually unlimited access to vaccines. Two: we need to significantly expand the number of sites where people can get a vaccine,” he explained. “If we're gonna vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people, we need hundreds of sites vaccinating people."

Places like pharmacies, physicians’ offices, hospitals and health departments need to be part of the effort, but vaccines are still in short supply and Spillers says efforts need to be made to ramp up distribution.

The hospital has already had 20,000 people sign up to be vaccinated, a process that Spillers believes is going to take a while, even with 500 to 700 vaccinations each day, since 20,000 people require 40,000 shots.

“There are people out there that are frustrated 'cause they can't get it right now, obviously, and I heard what they said, but at the same time, there is a shortage. We still don't have all we need,” Spillers said.

“Early in the pandemic, we had the same issue with testing and over time, we fixed that. I think over time, we'll fix the issue with vaccinations and they'll be readily available and everybody can get one when they want one.”

According to the state vaccine dashboard, more than 640,000 doses of the vaccine have been allocated for Alabama, yet just under 450,000 have been delivered.

As of Thursday, the health department reports 202,643 doses have been administered.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530744

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson764931522
Mobile40959804
Madison34735503
Tuscaloosa25749452
Montgomery24327589
Shelby23425249
Baldwin21123308
Lee15873171
Calhoun14496314
Morgan14288279
Etowah13826353
Marshall12213223
Houston10561281
Elmore10052205
Limestone9958151
Cullman9659193
St. Clair9652243
Lauderdale9420241
DeKalb8828186
Talladega8220176
Walker7231277
Autauga6918108
Jackson6809112
Blount6656137
Colbert6296134
Coffee5509119
Dale4830111
Russell440738
Chilton4284112
Franklin425682
Covington4118118
Tallapoosa4026152
Escambia393376
Chambers3560123
Dallas3547151
Clarke351061
Marion3116101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274272
Bibb260564
Marengo249664
Geneva249477
Pickens234361
Barbour230757
Hale222877
Butler215969
Fayette212262
Henry188744
Cherokee184645
Randolph180141
Monroe177340
Washington167239
Macon158950
Clay156156
Crenshaw152257
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138753
Wilcox127030
Bullock123041
Conecuh110329
Perry107526
Coosa107228
Sumter104432
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 852841

Reported Deaths: 12255
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby956561619
Davidson89355933
Knox50675635
Hamilton44280494
Rutherford43046434
Williamson28015217
Sumner24012349
Montgomery20255225
Wilson18804234
Out of TN1840797
Unassigned16998134
Sullivan16794294
Blount15490193
Bradley15032150
Washington14597245
Maury13499172
Sevier13391175
Putnam11396175
Madison11168242
Robertson9756131
Anderson8760172
Hamblen8610173
Greene7877155
Tipton7359103
Coffee6905121
Dickson6840110
Cumberland6734132
Carter6634158
Gibson6526146
McMinn650898
Bedford6506128
Roane6282105
Jefferson6211124
Loudon613069
Hawkins6077107
Lawrence593887
Monroe584095
Warren554881
Dyer5425106
Franklin515090
Fayette506877
Cheatham455355
Obion454196
Cocke450099
Lincoln435763
Rhea434875
Marshall419058
Campbell415463
Weakley412865
Giles3996100
Henderson378976
White364170
Macon361978
Carroll361683
Hardin357167
Hardeman352664
Lauderdale318944
Henry318576
Claiborne318273
Marion312347
Scott312345
Overton301161
Wayne296334
Hickman284046
McNairy282054
DeKalb279654
Smith277839
Haywood271162
Grainger262850
Morgan250139
Trousdale250122
Fentress241547
Johnson240739
Chester214351
Bledsoe214211
Polk207824
Unicoi203549
Crockett203248
Cannon192031
Union190734
Humphreys179927
Grundy179334
Lake170326
Sequatchie169829
Benton166540
Decatur158639
Lewis158126
Meigs139125
Stewart132528
Jackson132036
Clay110131
Houston109333
Perry106628
Moore101117
Van Buren84723
Pickett76024
Hancock58912

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