East Alabama Medical Center has started winding down its Community Vaccine Clinic amid flagging demand for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Monday was the last day for new first-shot appointments to be scheduled, and EAMC plans to shutter the clinic for good on June 14 after all scheduled second doses of the Pfizer vaccine are administered. The clinic will now be open from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. The previously scheduled Saturday date for vaccinations on June 5 has been canceled.
“I personally want to thank our community for the support you have given us throughout this pandemic, and specifically for your support of the Community Vaccine Clinic,” said Bruce Zartman, East Alabama Health’s VP of Support Operations, in a news release. Zartman has overseen the clinic since day one. “We started giving vaccines to healthcare workers and first responders on December 15 in the EAMC Education Center. As the eligible populations for the vaccine expanded, we realized we needed a larger clinic in order to make a real impact in our efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.”
The Community Vaccine Clinic represented a Herculean effort and partnership between the cities of Auburn and Opelika, EAMC, the schools of nursing at Auburn University, Southern Union and Tuskegee University, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, all of which helped staff the clinic, and Auburn United Methodist Church, which organized volunteers to help the clinic run smoothly.
“Lastly, thank you to the 1,900 community volunteers who gave of their time to support this effort,” said Zartman. “This was truly a community vaccine clinic. Our friends, families and neighbors banded together to provide more than 89,000 vaccines for their friends, families and neighbors in the fight against this virus. This was historic and meaningful. Be proud of what you accomplished.”
As of Tuesday, more than 103,000 doses of vaccine had been administered in Lee County, with 48,648 residents being fully vaccinated.
Currently, those age 12 and older are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine after Pfizer was granted emergency use authorization of its vaccine for those ages 12 to 15 earlier this month. Moderna is also expected to soon seek authorization for its vaccine for use by those 12 to 15 years old as well.
As of Wednesday, almost 6,500 patients in that age cohort had received the Pfizer vaccination in Alabama.
With the Community Vaccine Clinic closing its doors, EAMC will offer the vaccine at the East Alabama Apothecary located at the main campus. The vaccine will be available Monday through Friday, and appointments can be made by calling 334-528-2293.