By Barnett Wright
The Birmingham Times
Dozens of residents with appointments began driving up to the Alabama Regional Medical Services (ARMS) clinic in North Birmingham at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday as the first COVID-19 vaccination clinic opened in the community.
Throughout the morning 200 people were given their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and automatically given an appointment for their second dose at the same location.
The vaccination site was open between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“We are glad to have these vaccinations for this [northern Birmingham] community,” said Yocunda Clayton, Medical Director at ARMS. “The goal of this project was to make sure we provided vaccines for the majority of patients in the 35207 zip code, in addition to some of our own patients at Alabama Regional Medical Center.”
Many of the people who came for the vaccines are individuals who are at higher risk of developing COVID “so to provide the vaccines and have people interested in receiving the vaccines is very [important],” she said.
Elijah Clime, 70, of North Birmingham, who was the first in line to receive his vaccination, said the coronavirus is nothing to play with. “You can look around and see what’s happening everyday, the way people are dying,” he said. “It’s a serious situation. Everyone needs to get their shot.”
Clayton said she was not surprised to see the steady stream of residents throughout the morning.
“People are tired,” she said. “COVID has been going on for the past year. You look at the amount of depression, the mental disease that has been going on for the past year, people have lost loved ones.”
Clayton said ARMS will plan to have additional days set aside for future vaccinations as the doses become more available.