HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – As COVID-19 vaccination increases across Alabama, the state opened eight mass vaccination clinics Monday.
About 473,000 people in Alabama have received the vaccine as of Monday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. That includes about 100,000 per week for the last three weeks.
The current number of those vaccinated makes up less than 10 percent of the population of Alabama.
Thousands of people are scheduled to be inoculated at the mass vaccination clinic at John Hunt Park in Huntsville.
There were about 1,700 COVID-19 shots given at Huntsville Hospital’s mass clinic at the Jaycee Community Building Monday.
Of those, about 1,500 were first-time shots.
Jan Ingram is part of the 65-plus group among the new expanded age and job criteria put in place Monday by the state.
She’s grateful she was able to get the vaccine Monday as part of the expanded vaccine eligibility group, in effect with guidance by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
“It’s a wonderful relief to be able to come and have this first one and know that in three weeks, on March the first, I come back to get my second vaccine,” Ingram said.
Ingram says the process was seamless.
“Very friendly people greeting you with a smile and telling you exactly where you need to go and what you need to do after the vaccine, where you need to be seated,” she said. “It is just very well organized.”
Huntsville Hospital has a staff of more than 60 people helping out at the mass vaccination clinic.
The clinic usually provides about 500 shots per day.
With the mass clinic expansion, that number will be more like 1,700 per day for the week it’s in place, said Huntsville Hospital Chief Operating Officer Jeff Samz.
“There’s many more trying to sign up than we have vaccines,” Samz said. “I’d ask anybody, if you’re on our list, we’ll get to you, we’re going as fast as we can go. We do probably have 20,000 or 30,000 requests and we just can’t do them all at once.”