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UPDATE: Huntsville Hospital has received first round of Pfizer vaccine

The hospital received more than 6,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first round of distribution.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville Hospital officials has confirmed with WZDX News that they have received the first round of the Pfizer vaccine. 

The following was released from Huntsville Hospital:

"The vaccine arrived at Huntsville Hospital today at 8:30 a.m. 

Beginning Wednesday, December 16, Huntsville Hospital will provide the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to designated employees. Frontline caregivers and other staff who consistently work in direct contact with COVID-19 patients will be provided access first to make an appointment for the vaccination. The initial vaccine will be followed with a second vaccine 21 days later to ensure efficacy."

The hospital is one of 12 sites in Alabama to receive a shipment of the recently approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, December 14. Three sites are to receive the vaccine on Monday, December 13.

The hospital is expected to receive 6,825 doses in the first round of distribution. The state's overall initial allocation includes 40,950 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)

Officials say the doses will be given to Huntsville Hospital employees in the system and outside of the system starting Wednesday.

Those include nurses, technicians, physician offices, and EMS providers. Leaders say their goal is to have the doses administered in a two-week time period.

Hospital officials are working out how to vaccinate employees at partner hospitals in North Alabama.

"Probably we'll end up going to them to disrupt operations a little bit less. I could imagine Marshall County employees driving over here as opposed to us going there. It's better for us to go to them so they can come on their shift," says Huntsville Hospital Senior Vice President, Tracy Doughty.

At this time, hospital officials cannot confirm exactly when the doses will arrive tomorrow.

Preparations have been underway in Alabama to receive the Pfizer vaccine. The Alabama Department of Public Health said the fifteen hospitals would have received the supplies needed for the first batch of vaccines on December 11.

ADPH said the current allocation of the vaccine is approximately 50% for hospital healthcare workers, 14% for EMS providers, 15% for physician office and 20% for hospital staff not associated with the point of distribution.

The 15 hospitals receiving the vaccine were chosen due to their ability to store it properly in ultracold storage.

ADPH said that additional doses of the vaccine are expected at weekly intervals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a plethora of information on how to protect yourself and other from the coronavirus.  

The virus can easily spread from person to person, so the CDC recommends you stay at least 6-feet apart from people not in your household. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breaths or talks, according to the CDC. Because of this, the CDC recommends you wear a cloth facemask when around others and in public. 

Additionally, the CDC recommends that you frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

Symptoms to look out for include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC. 

Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the CDC. 

If you suspect you have the coronavirus, you should seek out testing and self-quarantine. 

Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.