Officials say mass vaccination sites will be helpful if boosters are approved

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 10:23 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - There are now more places across Jefferson County to get a Covid-19 vaccine with UAB reopening one of its mass vaccination sites this week and gearing up to open one more next week.

Doctors with the Jefferson County Health Department said overall, there has been an increase in vaccinations, but they have tapered off this week as mass sites start to pop back up.

“Currently, we are not getting an overwhelming demand for vaccination,” Dr. David Hicks said. “We are seeing a slight decrease in the demand in the past week. I’m not sure whether or not a large vaccination site will be fully utilized.”

Hicks said it’s hard to say why numbers are down this week, but said it could be less people are worried about the Delta variant.

“I think there are still some folks that probably got really scared and saw how bad things had been getting with the Delta variant strain. We saw that big surge,” Hicks said. “I think some people are maybe reverting back to saying “‘oh I may not think it is that big of a deal anymore.’”

State data shows about 54% of Jefferson County residents have at least one Covid shot. Only around 43% of the county is fully vaccinated.

But, with booster shots potentially soon to be approved, he said the mass sites will come in handy.

“The health department, we already have plans on how we can increase our capacity,” Hicks said. “There’s a lot of folks we will have to vaccinate if boosters are recommended.”

Dr. Hicks said the county is prepared to extend its vaccination hours in October if booster shots are approved or demand picks up.

He said the mass sites opening now are in preparation for those expected booster doses.

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