Vaccine available for frontline health workers in Greene County; other groups remain to be scheduled based on supplies

Dr. Salahuddin Farooqui, MD shown get the vaccine.
Dr. Michael Gordon, MD receiving vaccine
Hospital staff getting shot vaccine

Last Wednesday, December 30, 2020, fourteen frontline healthcare workers at the Greene County Health System received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine at the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Dr. Salahuddin Farooqui, MD and Dr. Michael Gordon, MD were among those vaccinated in the first group. Dr. Farooqui said, “I was glad to get the shot and I am urging all others in Greene County to get vaccinated when your group is called.”
The Alabama Department of Public Health is returning to Greene County on January 6 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM and January 13 from 8:45 to 10:45 AM to provide additional coronavirus vaccinations. Healthcare workers, including EMT and other support workers should call 205-562-6952 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Marcia Pugh said that she is expecting the residents of the Greene County Nursing Home to be vaccinated next. “We have been doing the required paperwork and getting signed approval from sponsors to vaccinate the residents of our nursing home. Their vaccines are coming through Walgreen/Pharmerica and should be scheduled soon.”
As to the next group which includes people over 75, educators and essential workers, Reagan Pettus, RN, West Central District Public Health Nurse, sent an email to Dr. Pugh advising, “We are still in phase 1a of our allocation plan which includes high risk personnel, such as frontline workers.
We have not received guidance as to when we may move to phase 1b which includes persons > 75 years, essential workers at high risk (such as teachers), and those who live in congregate settings.”
In her email, Pettus further stated, “Those who have no health problems and are not in high exposure groups will not be able to receive the vaccine until we move into Phase 2, which could be several months from now.
Alabama like many other states have been slow to receive ample supplies of the vaccines to vaccinate all the people who want to be served. Government officials say the supplies of vaccines are projected to increase in the coming months.
This news comes at the same time as Alabama and the nation are reaching record high levels of new confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus. Over 350,000 people nationally have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020.
Monday in Alabama hospitalizations reached 3,064, which was the first time they were over 3,000 during the pandemic. Public health officials expect continuing high rates of disease, coming from the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It will be several months, before the impact of vaccinations will reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Public health officials are warning that people must continue to wear masks, socially distance, not participate in large indoor gathers and wash hands regularly to defeat the spread of corona virus.
More information on cases in Alabama and Greene County are in our weekly summary box on the coronavirus impacts on page 1.