RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - According to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s (ADPH) vaccine dashboard, Russell County ranks last in the state for the percentage of residents who have been vaccinated, but officials with ADPH said the numbers we see on the dashboard do not tell the whole story.
Andrea Moline is one of about 60 people who was vaccinated for COVID-19 Wednesday at Jones Drugs in Phenix City.
“It felt pretty good actually because I know I’m not getting sick,” she said.
Barbara Hardwick administered Moline’s shot. Hardwick said she feels fortunate to vaccinate her community.
“We saw Russell County look like they were going to be a little underserved, and not everyone can drive to Dothan or Opelika to get the vaccine,” Hardwick said.
Statewide, Russell County is last when it comes to the percentage of people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to ADPH’s vaccine dashboard.
“The map, what it shows is the percentage of Russell County residents who were vaccinated in Russell County,” said Tim Hatch with ADPH.
The dashboard shows about 16.5 percent of people in Russell County have gotten at least one shot. That’s compared to Lee County’s 33.5 percent and Chambers County’s 30 percent.
Hatch said he believes that number for Russell County should be higher, and he said he thinks residents have gone elsewhere for coronavirus vaccines.
“A lot of Russell County residents have gone to Columbus,” he said. “There’s people that went to Lee County, there’s people that went to Montgomery County. They’re counted as doses administered, but not residents of that county.”
When it comes to doses administered, according to the dashboard, there have been around 13,000 in Russell County, more than 93,000 in Lee County, and nearly 18,000 doses administered in Chambers County.
Hardwick said she hopes to keep administering dozens of doses each week and has a message for people who live in the area.
”This is our contribution, so we just love it,” she said. “Russell County, roll up your sleeves.”
Hatch said ADPH is working with the states that border Alabama to filter data to have a better and more accurate understanding of exactly what percentage of a county’s residents have been vaccinated.