RAINSVILLE, Ala. – Hundreds of Northeast Alabamians lined up to get the first dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine in Rainsville at an Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) drive-through vaccination clinic Tuesday.
“Many more than I expected. We got here at 7:30 (a.m.) and we were 175,” said Fort Payne resident Eula Dodd.
Dodd is one of the 500 getting the vaccine.
She told News 19 she is already eager to get the second dose.
“We would feel safer after the vaccine. We haven’t been to church since February and after we get our two vaccines we’ll feel like we’ll be able to go back to church and maybe visit with friends. We’ve just been staying in more or less,” explained Dodd.
Frontline healthcare workers, first responders and those 75 years of age and older are eligible to get the vaccine under the ADPH’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout phases 1A and 1B.
“When we receive it in DeKalb County we are getting it out immediately. So, we are not withholding, we’re not holding back anything locally. These are our communities and we know the urgency to getting it out and we’re doing that,” said ADPH Northeastern District Administrator Mary Gomillion.
However, ADPH officials told News 19 the vaccine is still not 100% foolproof against the coronavirus.
“After the first dose of Moderna you have approximately 50% coverage for the COVID virus and then after the second dose it increases to approximately 95%, but of course, you still need to use these restrictions, the masks, distancing. The vaccine is here to help but it’s not 100%,” said ADPH Northeastern District Assistant Administrator Mark Johnson.
Johnson, Gomillion and DeKalb County leaders said the drive-through clinic could not have been possible without the hard work of the local EMA, health department and police force.
“Today it is working like a well oiled machine and it’s all because of the planning that has taken place before this morning,” said DeKalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow.
After patients received the COVID-19 vaccine, they were required to wait at least 15 minutes to be monitored.