Demand for measles vaccine surges in Calhoun County

Local News

ANNISTON, Ala. (WIAT) — Pharmacies in Calhoun County are stocking up on the measles vaccine to serve the needs of residents. 

Staffers at Martin’s Pharmacy in Anniston tell CBS 42 that they’ve received a slew of phone calls requesting the vaccine as residents grow increasingly worried about the health of their children. 

On a sunny Friday afternoon at Choccolocco park in Anniston, four-year old Serenity pranced around the playground while her grandmother, Wakina Webster, smiled and watched. Webster loves watching Serenity enjoy herself, but she can’t help but feel nervous.

“I just had a conversation with my mom, and I was like, ‘Mom, is it safe to have her out at the park?” said Webster.

Webster’s concerns stem from a presumptive case of measles in Pell City. Friday afternoon, the CDC announced that the test results came back negative for the disease.

Kai Martin, a pharmacist at Martin’s Pharmacy, tells us that Webster isn’t the only one who’s still worried. 

“Since the news has been coming out about people having seen cases of it in this area, we’ve had people call [inquiring about the measles vaccine],” said Martin. 

More calls than ever before. In fact, Martin adds that he couldn’t even remember the last time someone inquired about the measles vaccine at his pharmacy before last week when the Pell City story first broke. 

Normally, Martin’s pharmacy doesn’t even carry the vaccine in-store. But, with the recent surge in demand, Martin tells us that all five Martin’s Pharmacy locations are stocked and ready to meet the need. 

“With a day’s notice, [we could] probably [immunize} at least 50 people if we needed to,” said Martin.

CBS 42 reached out to several pharmacies in Calhoun County that had the vaccine back-ordered earlier in the week. Each pharmacy confirmed that they are now either stocked or could readily acquire the vaccine for a customer. 

For Webster, she hopes more people take advantage of the vaccine’s availability — for the safety of Serenity, and all children.

“I think it’s important, it’s vital, it’s important for the kids safety and their well-being,” said Webster. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health tells CBS 42 that a child’s pediatrician is usually the best person to issue a vaccination. However, if that is not an option, pharmacies are a more than suitable alternative. 

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