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Huntsville Hospital's online portal for vaccination appointments 'to take out the middle man'

Hospital officials say the online portal is expected to open on Monday.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The COVID-19 vaccine became available to every person sixteen and older in Alabama on Monday, and it is expected to be available for every adult in the U.S. in the coming days.

Even though people are eligible, there's still a struggle to even book an appointment.

Our WZDX News reporter hears from Madison County leaders about their game plan.

"There's basically three categories or three areas. Obviously there's Huntsville Hospital and their administration," says Madison County EMA Director, Jeff Birdwell.

Huntsville Hospital says on Monday they will roll out an online portal used to book vaccination appointments.

"The thought process is you would go in, pick a date time out and you're scheduled. Put some information in and there's no calling back and forth," says Huntsville Hospital VP of Operations Tracy Doughty.

Hospital leaders say the online portal option helps eliminate communication problems. "What's been hindering us getting more vaccines on is the calls back and forth. We call, we miss the person. They call us back and they get a different operator. So, we developed an online portal where it takes the middle man out of that," says Doughty.

You can access the portal at huntsvillehospital.org. The other two ways include accessing the Alabama Department of Public Health's vaccine provider dashboard, or vaccinefinder.org.

"We have some outreach clinics going on in the next couple of weeks," says Doughty.

Huntsville Hospital leaders say they're working on expanding their reach to places like the Bob Harrison Center. 

"We're working with the team there to develop a plan to give vaccines out there next week, and also we'll be at Oakwood University Church in the upcoming weeks to do vaccines there. So, we're excited to partner with some of our community partners to give vaccine," says Doughty.