Officials seeing lower vaccine demand in Lauderdale County


LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. — The CDC reports a little more than half of American adults are at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said, in both Lauderdale and Colbert counties, less than 40 percent of the population has received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this year, lower vaccination rates were due to a limited supply, but Mike Melton, Project Manager for North Alabama Medical Center’s mobile clinics in rural Lauderdale County said that’s no longer the case.

“We have plenty of vaccines; we could probably do very comfortably 500 per site, per day and we’re doing less than 50 right now,” Melton said.

Melton said he believes some of the decline may be hesitancy following the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause.

This week, Melton is shifting hours of operation to better accommodate people who may want the vaccine but are still at work when the clinic closes.

“Instead of coming in from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., we started coming in at 11 a.m., working to 6 p.m., hoping that we could get some people going home from work or after school or whatever the case may be,” Melton said.

Melton understands that the severity of the virus is different for everyone but said getting the vaccine is one step closer to a return to normalcy.

“It’s something that you just don’t know until you get it, so please help us try to put an end to this pandemic and come out and get your vaccination.”

From April 26 through April 30, the rural clinics will operate at Cornerstone Church in Central from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday at the Joe Wheeler State Park Boat Ramp from 8 a.m. until supplies are gone.

Wednesday through Friday both clinic sites will operate from 8 a.m. until supplies are gone.

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