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Coronavirus vaccine clinics not as busy in the Shoals as expected

None of Helen Keller Hospital's vaccination clinics have been fully booked in the last three weeks.

Posted: Apr 26, 2021 5:20 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2021 8:26 PM

Helen Keller Hospital officials told WAAY 31 on Monday that right now, they have five people hospitalized with coronavirus, and they are still seeing vaccination hesitancy in the community.

The hospital said while they are seeing less transmission rates, which is a good thing, the risk of coronavirus is just as deadly now than it was last summer because we don't have herd immunity yet.

"We're still under 40% vaccinated," said Helen Keller Hospital President Kyle Buchanan.

Buchanan said their vaccine clinics haven't been as packed as they expected.

"Over the past three weeks, most of our clinics have had available slots. All of the slots weren't taken for any of them," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said heading into the summer months, they want to see at least 70% of the Shoals population be vaccinated.

"We're seeing patients who are just as sick as those six months ago, so we need to do everything we can to prevent the spread. Even if it's minimal is too much. The best ways to do that is to get vaccinated, wear masks, social distance. All those things we know work. We have to stick to those and see this process all the way through," said Buchanan.

On Tuesday, the hospital will have a vaccination clinic at the Sheffield Housing Authority.

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