Starting Monday, essential workers and people 75 years and older can start rolling up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Huntsville Hospital has had about 10,000 people sign up to get the vaccine since Friday when we learned we're entering Phase 1-B.
On Monday, about 300 people that are frontline workers and 75 years and older will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine in the Jaycee Community Building at John Hunt Park. Huntsville Hospital's Vice President of Operations, Tracy Doughty, said it's been a team effort getting things ready for next week.
“Our staff is working extra shifts, they’re working overtime, we have managers taking patients," said Doughty. "So, it's been an effort by our staff members, our physicians, respiratory therapy, radiologist staff, to pick up extra shifts."
Doughty said members of the community are stepping up to get John Hunt Park ready for Monday.
“We’ve had volunteer physicians and retired nurses and others volunteers to help us. So, we’ve had no problem standing up John Hunt Park and being able to give out the vaccine. It’s a testament to our employees and the community who want to get past this thing called ‘COVID-19.’”
The hospital is easing into distributing the vaccine by starting off with administering 300 vaccines each day. They plan to increase it to 700 each day once they get their routine running smoothly.
“If we’ve got a vaccine, we want to give it to somebody," said Doughty.
Huntsville Hospital plans to open drive-thru vaccine locations once they have enough vaccines. Doughty said it's their goal to give as many people the vaccine as they can.
“We’re going to do our part and vaccinate as many people as we can. That means we might have the Jaycee building at John Hunt Park operational for months, and as we have vaccines, we’ll spin up our travel plans and get some drive-thru clinics to different parts of the community.”
Huntsville Hospital will continue to only make appointments for those in the Phase 1-A and 1-B until the Alabama Department of Public Health updates its distribution plans.