CENTREVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Smaller hospitals in West Alabama continue to struggle as nurses and doctors combat the coronavirus.
Despite the struggles, the Bibb Medical Center continues to vaccinate hundreds who need help. As of Friday afternoon, more than 520 people received the Moderna vaccine shots at Bibb Medical Center. Those eligible to get the vaccine include first responders, senior citizens age 75 and up and hospital workers.
Nurse Dawn Jones says right now the big push is for elderly residents to get in and roll up their sleeves to get a shot.
“These are our elderly and geriatric patients are the ones who are greatly affected by this COVID-19 virus, so we are shooting for them first obviously. And we are trying to get them vaccinated because they are the ones who are having the worst effects from COVID-19,” Jones said.
Doctors are treating six COVID-19 inpatients at the hospital. The facility has 35 beds and an emergency room and an urgent care unit. Dr. John Meigs, a family medicine physician and President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, says having enough staff and beds is a constant problem.
“Staffing is a big problem especially in a small hospital because we don’t have a lot of extra staff we can draw on. So when we have a nurse down or a nurse out it makes a difference. Someone has to work an extra shift,” Dr. Meigs said.
Hospital officials say 600 doses of the Moderna Vaccine was delivered to Bibb Medical center. Dr. Meigs is hoping to get more so many others can get vaccinated.
“We are hoping this is one way we can begin to slow this pandemic down and get enough folks immunized so the virus won’t spread as easily and to protect folks from a disease that can be very deadly,” he said.
Bibb Medical Center nurses are expected to vaccinate one hundred people on Saturday.