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1,335 COVID-19 vaccines given, second doses underway

The Pike County Health Department has administered 1,335 first doses of the Moderna COVID- 19 vaccine and has dedicated much of February to second doses.

Corey Kirkland, administrator of the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Southeastern District, said there are 10,000 people in the district that are all due second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We have administered 1,335 first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Pike County and 11,043 in the 10-county area,” Kirkland said. “We have started second doses and have intermingled a small number of first doses. I may be biased but, overall, we are doing a good job of follow-up care for those 75 and up.”

Kirkland said in the last weeks, a transition has been made to a new vendor for online appointments and expects that to expedite the online appointment process. First dose appointments using the new online vendor should begin in early March.

“Right now, we’re trying to take those 75 and up on a waiting list and working to get everybody in the near future,” he said. “The second doses are to be given within a 28-day period following the first so, it’s most important that we get these second doses given.

“We understand the need for the vaccine and are working hard to get everybody in and as soon as we can.”

Kirkland said the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine provides about 85 percent protection from the coronavirus and the booster dose up to 95 percent.

There is a greater chance of getting fever and aches from the second dose than the first, Kirkland said.

“Some people have flu-like symptoms for a couple of days while others don’t,” he said. “But in 12 hours or a day, you should be good.”