St. Clair Co. dealing with limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine

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ST. CLAIR CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Some rural areas continue to trail the state in vaccinations. Medical leaders in St. Clair County say the efforts are slowed because they didn’t get a lot of doses upfront.

The vaccination process is down to a science at Odenville Drugs. Leaders have a contract to provide vaccines for city and county workers and usually conduct mass vaccinations for the county, including vaccinations for the hundreds of inmates in the St. Clair County prison.

“When the COVID vaccine became available, that fit right into the mechanism of what we do,” said Dr. Jenny Baldowne with Odenville Drugs.

The only problem this time is a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine. The freezer sat empty in the clinic Monday.

“Placed an order to be able to give about 6,000 vaccines between our sites. To date, I’ve received 100 vaccines and those were gone in a day,” said Dr. Baldowne.

But leaders say doses are sparse across the county.

“We’re aware of 1,600 doses that came into the county. There are three pharmacies that have received them, as well as our health department,” said Dr. Baldowne.

Dr. Baldowne says the doses shipped are significantly lower than the total population of the county. Although vaccines are in limited supply nationally, leaders say the mismatched numbers delay efforts to keep up with the state’s vaccination roll out and frustrate people ready to get the shot.

“When you see on television the long lines in counties that have moved into subsequent phases - starting to vaccinate their elderly people and have moved beyond their healthcare workers - that’s not happening in St. Clair County,” said Dr. Baldowne.

Leaders say they don’t know why St. Clair County received so few doses, but they did speak with the state’s top health official who said the county will be a priority in the next shipment. Leaders hope another shipment will come in this week.

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