DCH prepared to vaccinate people 16 and up for COVID-19

DCH preparing for more vaccine appointments

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A spokesman for DCH Regional Medical Center said they can adjust the number of personnel needed to handle the largest group of people so far that can be vaccinated for coronavirus, if they want the shot.

We found a few cars in line after 10 a.m. Monday to get vaccinated at DCH’s remote site in Tuscaloosa. Hospital spokesman Andy North says that’s not common.

“We’re full this week and through Monday of next week when we opened up the vaccinations for 16 plus on Friday afternoon, all of the appointments for this week filled up,” North said.

DCH is capable of vaccinating between 750 to 1,100 people a day. Slots filled up immediately after they started vaccinating people 65 and up and 55 and up. Slots have not filled up as fast yet to vaccinate people 16 and older, according to North.

“Probably the area of concern is that next Wednesday, we’re not full. We have appointments available from the 14th of April all the way to the 23rd of April that have not been claimed,” said North.

Patients 55 years old and up have required the most hospital care for COVID-19 at DCH. Fewer of those people have needed to be in the hospital recently as vaccine became more available.

“As we’ve seen, the COVID inpatient numbers in the hospital have been down. And we think that’s directly attributed to the vaccination effort,” North continued.

North says as of Monday, there are fewer than five people sick with coronavirus in DCH’s three affiliated hospitals in Tuscaloosa, Northport, and Fayette.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.