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People 75 and older can start getting the COVID-19 vaccine in North Alabama next week

A public health official promises that if you want the vaccine, and you qualify to receive one, that you'll be able to get a vaccine administered to you soon.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — "If you want a vaccine, we are gonna get you a vaccine," said Judy Smith, an Area Administrator of Alabama Department of Public Health.  

This was Smith's opening and closing statement at a Decatur COVID briefing.

"According to the demographics of Morgan County, there are roughly 8,900 seniors aged 75 and above," said Smith. 

Smith goes on to say that not all of those people will be able to get vaccinated on that first day, Monday, January 18. People will have to make appointments to avoid things such as crazy long lines or traffic.

RELATED: More groups of people are now eligible for the COVID vaccine in many states

"The health department is on Highway 31, we don't want anybody to get killed in traffic, trying to get a vaccine. We don't want to have people waiting in line for three hours and then finding out that we don't have a vaccine dose," said Smith. 

The health department is trying to stay on a strict appointment schedule to keep things organized, but exceptions are not completely out of the question.

"Would we squeeze in somebody that didn't have an appointment, if they qualify in the 75 and above group, yes we would, yes we will," said Smith. 

So, what can people expect if they choose to get vaccinated at the health department?

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"You come in, you get your temperature taken, you get registered, you go and you get shot, then you wait for 15 minutes and then we wave goodbye to ya as you head out the door," said Smith. 

But that is just for the first dose, if you get the first one, you need to get the second dose, but the health department makes it easy for you by giving you a scheduling card.

 "You do need to have two doses, your appointment time, 4 weeks from now, will be same time, same place, just four weeks later. If you get your first dose from us, as long as it's Moderna vaccine, and you got your date correct, you can get your second dose with somebody else who has the Moderna vaccine," said Smith. 

Smith also explains that every dose counts.

"We will not waste a dose of vaccine, it is too valuable, too important to people and we are not gonna waste those doses," said Smith.

RELATED: Free vaccines for people 75+ and first responders in Alabama start Jan. 18; waiting list for appointments available