SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - Mass vaccination clinics for COVID-19 are underway at sites around Alabama, including in the Selma area. Vaughan Regional Medical Center spearheaded the Selma drive-thru clinic at Bloch Park.
Each of the state’s large-scale clinics is allotting about 1,000 shots per day through the end of the week.
People began lining up in Bloch Park early Monday, where about 800 people had gotten their first of two vaccination shots before noon. Over the course nine hours Monday, more than 1,500 got their first dose and it all went very well.
There were few issues as people waited their turn in line.
The doses are available to anyone who is 65 or older, or who meets other criteria to be eligible, which include the following:
- Health care workers
- First responders, including EMS, firefighters and law enforcement
- Front-line critical workers - corrections officers, food and agriculture workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, people who work in the education sector (teachers, support staff, community college and higher education), childcare workers, judiciary (including but not limited to) circuit judges, district judges and district attorneys
- People who work or live in congregate settings, such as homeless shelters, group homes and prisons
- People 65 years of age and older
To help the operation go smoothly, Vaughan Regional Medical Center leaders encourage recipients to fill out a simple form on the hospital’s website. The clinic is the hub for much of the Black Belt, not just Selma and Dallas County.
The next round begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday,
The second dose will be available to those taking this shot starting the week of March 8, and it will take place at the same location.
Selma native Ulyssses Woodyard was first in line at 4:30 a.m. to receive his first COVID-19 vaccine shot.
“I was somewhat surprised. I surprised that people weren’t here earlier than that because the line is gonna get long,” said Woodyard.
While Woodyard waited in his pickup in the cold, city crews got the parking lot ready, muscling warning barrels in their proper places along with the metal barriers.
Vaughan Regional Medical Center leaders were eager to get this show on the road.
“We showed up. The majority of our team was there at 6:45. We pulled up and obviously there was a guy waiting at 4:30 this morning,” said Vaughan Regional Medical Center Market Director Logan Cowart.
“Not tired yet,” Woodyard said with a laugh.
“I’m number nine in the line and I’m OK with that,” said Gwedolyn Hunter.
By 6 a.m., the car line grew by the hundreds.
“I am surprised two hours early there’s this many here. I’m shocked,” said another driver way back in the line.
Shortly before 8 a.m., last minute instructions were given to local nurses and then Woodyard led the way. He was the first to receive his shot and said it didn’t hurt at all.
“It worked out real good,” he said.
All went well with no major issues.
Selma Mayor James Perkins says the virus has claimed more than 120 lives from Dallas County.