Severe weather may impact COVID-19 vaccination sites Thursday

Severe weather's impact on vaccinations

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Severe weather is expected to hit Alabama Thursday. This is expected to impact some COVID vaccination sites across the state.

Some vaccine sites plan to continue to give out shots. Others are trying to beat the weather hitting the state Thursday afternoon. Cancelations are possible if there is a considered threat to health workers and their patients.

You don’t have to tell Julie Cobb about the threat of severe weather. The registered nurse with the Emergency Preparedness and Response Division at the Jefferson County Department of Health lived in Fultondale.

“I’m out of my house right now. Yeah we are out of the house until June and last week in Mount Olive hit where I go to church,” Cobb said.

Cobb said they have two strike teams ready to go Thursday to head out earlier than expected to senior living facilities to provide shots.

“For the safety of our teams, we have added an extra team so we can put one on the western side of the county and one on the eastern side of the county so they can all be back before the weather comes in at noon,” Cobb said.

State health leaders say if vaccine sites are closed for the day, all the patients will be rescheduled. Last week’s severe weather was a great learning lesson.

“We were able to move those later appointments, bring some of the individuals in earlier. Schedule some for the next day,” Cobb said.

Generators are on-site at health departments to ensure no vaccines are lost if there is no power. Cobb said protecting their people and patients remains a top priority in any weather event.

The Jefferson County Department of Health has a meteorologist on hand to watch for severe weather. The state and national guard units out in rural Alabama are also checking to see if they have to make changes or reschedule people to get those shots.

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