TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Grace Presbyterian Church partnered with the University Medical Center Tuesday to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the church on Hargrove Road.
Dr. Richard Friend is the dean of the University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences and says he was hoping for a good turnout to get as many people vaccinated as possible.
“Every shot we get into an arm is a potential life saved or a person who doesn’t need to go to the hospital or doesn’t get sick or spread it to a family or community member,” Dr. Friend said.
But things didn’t go as planned, seats were empty due to low turnout. Only four people showed up to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prompting some experts like DCH Hospital spokesperson Andy North to be concerned.
“It is really concerning for us especially since Tuscaloosa County, last time I checked, was around 35% vaccination rate for the first dose and statewide we are about the same. So we really need to do better than that,” North said.
North is also concerned about thousands of University of Alabama students returning to Tuscaloosa in August to begin the school year and about the possibility of COVID-19 and new variants spreading.
“Anytime the volume goes up in the community it’s a concern because we are introducing more people in the community. The more people who have been vaccinated the better off we are going to be with the large numbers of people in the community,” he said.
North says he still encourages citizens to wear a mask in public and is hoping everyone will get vaccinated.