WINSTON COUNTY - After a year of restlessness and uncertainty, several companies have been successful in their race for a COVID-19 vaccine, with the first rounds of shots being distributed to those who are on the front lines battling the virus, such as health care workers.
Throughout 2020, workers and patients alike in health care and rehabilitation centers have been exposed to the virus. These people are in the first group to receive vaccinations.
Haleyville Health Care has partnered with Omnicare to provide the vaccinations to their workers and patients. They received their first round of doses and held the “first vaccine clinic” Wednesday, Dec. 30, Tracy Hooker, Haleyville Health Care administrator, stated. Vaccines are being given to the patients if they and their sponsors request it.
“They have all been offered (it) and have the right to accept or decline,” Hooker said. “We have provided them with all the information we have at our disposal. Our pharmacy partner receives the shipments and is responsible for the preservation of the vaccine. Our partners with Omnicare are responsible for ensuring they are maintained as they do have a temperature requirement.”
Three vaccine clinics will take place, with the second one scheduled for Jan. 23, and the last one currently being scheduled.
“At this point, it is my understanding there is enough (vaccine) for the ones who have opted to take (the vaccination),” Hooker added.
Some workers in the Haleyville Health Care facility do not wish to receive the vaccinations. The center has offered it, but the workers are currently not required to take it, and the center is addressing any concerns the workers may have.
“We are continuing to identify their objections and addressing them with information,” Hooker said.
As for her personal thoughts, she had reservations about taking the vaccine as word spread regarding possible vaccinations.
“At first I was against it. However, after much research, reviewing data and attending webinars, I have decided to take it,” Hooker said.
Individuals will not be considered fully protected until one to two weeks after they receive the second dose of the vaccine, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
“We believe that the virus will continue to ravage our citizens until they are adequately vaccinated,” Hooker concluded.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.