Thousands flocking to virus vaccination sites across Alabama

Thousands of people showed up at sites from the coast to the Tennessee Valley as Alabama began vaccinating senior citizens for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Posted: Jan 19, 2021 2:08 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Thousands of people showed up at sites from the coast to the Tennessee Valley as Alabama began vaccinating senior citizens for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

People spent the night in cars waiting for shots in Baldwin County, where health workers began immunizing people early Tuesday. County health workers in Huntsville vaccinated 500 people on Monday although only 300 people had appointments. Other sites opened in cities ranging in size from Birmingham to Rainsville.

The state is offering vaccines to people 75 and older after limiting the initial doses to health workers. Alabama is among the Southern states trailing the nation in the rate of vaccinations.

In Limestone County, Pat White showed up to get her first of two doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday. She said she misses going to church and has done little other than buy groceries to protect against catching the virus.

“We’ve lost many friends to COVID, and we’re older, so that made me think it was probably the right thing to do,” White told WAAY-TV.

Alabama Department of Public Health statistics show about 150,000 have received shots statewide, but the number does not include those who were immunized most recently. More than 700,000 people are currently eligible for vaccinations in Alabama, including 325,000 health care workers and 350,000 people who are 75 or older. The state has so far received 446,000 doses, according to state numbers.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital has been notifying patients, who are 75 and older, to have them come to get vaccinated.

“At the vaccine site, it’s not uncommon for people just to break down in tears when they receive their vaccine. People are just so tremendously relieved to finally have received the vaccine and have some hope," Dr. Sarah Nafziger, vice president of Clinical Support Services at UAB Medicine, said.

The Alabama Department of Public Health last week disputed rankings that put Alabama last in vaccination delivery, and said that was because some entities had not reported given vaccinations.

Four state senators wrote a letter Tuesday asking for updated numbers on vaccinations given and saying incomplete reporting could threaten the flow of vaccine to the state.

“While the supply pipeline is definitely an issue, our pipeline in Alabama has a kink,” Senators Jim McClendon, Greg Albritton, Tom Whatley and Randy Price wrote. “The rule is simple: The CDC will not authorize shipments to Alabama until they know we are using what we have on hand. Our citizens are paying a deadly price.”

The Alabama Department of Public Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More than 6,100 people have died of COVID-19 in Alabama, and more than 424,000 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has decreased by 881, a decline of almost 24%, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but it is particularly dangerous for the elderly and people with other, serious health problems.

Nafziger said the delivery of the vaccinations is also providing a boost to health care workers who spent much of 2020 battling the pandemic.

“We’ve been in a really rough place, especially in health care. For the last year, it’s been a tremendous burden. We’re exhausted. But just finally having hope has been a tremendous boost for all of us and I hope it is for the community as well,” Nafziger said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308111

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20826248
Hinds19910411
Harrison17510302
Rankin13334276
Jackson13118243
Madison9908210
Lee9871170
Jones8297160
Forrest7525147
Lauderdale7198237
Lowndes6272144
Lamar611084
Lafayette6039117
Washington5281133
Bolivar4772129
Oktibbeha455897
Panola4445103
Pearl River4428141
Warren4284118
Marshall4276100
Pontotoc416972
Monroe4061132
Union403975
Neshoba3994176
Lincoln3871109
Hancock372885
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329589
Tate322782
Pike3188104
Scott310872
Yazoo304468
Alcorn298065
Itawamba297177
Copiah293265
Coahoma289778
Simpson288284
Tippah284868
Prentiss275759
Marion266079
Leake261373
Wayne261341
Grenada255384
Covington254780
Adams246082
Newton245161
George238147
Winston225981
Tishomingo222267
Jasper219748
Attala213473
Chickasaw205057
Holmes186872
Clay182854
Stone179331
Clarke177076
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163531
Yalobusha159236
Smith158834
Walthall130643
Greene129433
Lawrence126423
Noxubee126233
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120926
Amite120141
Webster113532
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102725
Claiborne101330
Benton97325
Kemper95428
Humphreys94332
Franklin82123
Quitman78916
Choctaw73417
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 520503

Reported Deaths: 10722
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754091487
Mobile38938798
Madison33898495
Tuscaloosa25297443
Montgomery23992567
Shelby23124239
Baldwin20652300
Lee15541165
Calhoun14301311
Morgan14145270
Etowah13665346
Marshall11967219
Houston10381278
Elmore10001200
Limestone9822147
Cullman9481188
St. Clair9435234
Lauderdale9223227
DeKalb8748181
Talladega8071171
Walker7100275
Jackson6762110
Autauga6734103
Blount6497135
Colbert6210130
Coffee5404112
Dale4766110
Russell429038
Franklin419982
Chilton4087109
Covington4056114
Tallapoosa3898146
Escambia388574
Dallas3531149
Chambers3503122
Clarke346560
Marion3066100
Pike305876
Lawrence295395
Winston272572
Bibb256459
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens233059
Barbour225255
Hale218775
Butler212566
Fayette209260
Henry187744
Cherokee182144
Randolph176941
Monroe172040
Washington164238
Macon154848
Clay149555
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146241
Lamar139334
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109128
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene91034
Choctaw58724
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Showers linger across the area as a cold front passes Wednesday afternoon. This will keep temperatures far cooler than average. Some of these showers may linger into the overnight as well.
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