HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The estimated number of vaccines given out by local vaccination sites may seem like a productive number, until you hear just how many people are waiting in line to receive theirs.
"We can vaccinate about 3,000 people a week right now in Madison County, that's all the vaccine we're getting," said David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital. "We have now received almost 20,000 people who are seeking the vaccine, the number one limiting factor is this availability to vaccines. As I said, we're administering all we're getting, I know Crestwood's administering all they're getting."
It's not only the supply that it is making it hard to vaccinate everyone, but the fact that anyone who gets one, must also get a second dose.
"A two-dose vaccine complicates things, if you assume we got 400,000 people in Madison County, and let's say, hopefully 75% of those want a vaccine, that's 300,000 people, and that's 600,000 shots we've got to administer in order to get this county vaccinated," said Spillers.
The ultimate goal is herd immunity, but it may take a while to achieve that goal.
"It's gonna take a while to get enough vaccinations out there for us to have a herd immunity that we're seeking, and I think that's, you know, the big message that we have going back to the state, and obviously the federal government, is that we have the ability to vaccinate a lot more people than we have vaccine for. Right now, the short fall is not facilities, the short fall is not our medical providers, the short fall is just having the vaccine itself," said John Hamilton, City Administrator for the City of Huntsville.
Spillers says the best way of getting more people vaccinated is to increase the number of vaccination sites, and is in the process of doing so, so that people can be better protected from the virus.
"Here in Madison county, and Huntsville, we're running three clinics right now, we're running one we just opened yesterday at the JC Building at John Hunt Park, we're opening the one we had at the Dowdle Center and we're also doing them in our employee health area," said Spillers.