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Dothan officials: Only two ways out of pandemic, get the virus or get the vaccine

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 11:25 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Dothan officials gave an update on the area’s COVID-19 response on Tuesday.

Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba, along with Houston Commission Chairman Mark Culver, Corey Kirkland of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), and representatives from both Flowers Hospital and Southeast Health held a press conference to give an update on the area’s COVID-19 efforts.

The common theme among officials was that even though cases of COVID-19 in the area are declining the pandemic is not over yet.

“There are only two ways out of this pandemic. You either get the virus or get the vaccine,” said Dr. George Narby with Southeast Health. It was a message echoed by the rest of the speakers.

Dr. Narby says Southeast health currently has 8 COVID-19 inpatients. This is a low that they have not seen for many months since their peak number of cases of 117 around January 8th.

So far Southeast health has administered 33,000 doses. They have appointments available each week Monday thru Friday and starting Monday, April 19, there will be no preregistering for appointments. Those wanting the vaccine can roll right up to the clinic and get the shot right away.

All SEH facilities will still require masks for patients and staff.

For information on Southeast Health’s latest visitation policies visit their website.

Flowers Hospital CEO Jeff Brannon said they are also at a low level of COVID patients. They have 16 down from a peak of 65 in January.

So far Flowers has given 2,800 Moderna vaccine shots. Brannon said the clinic operated by Southeast Health is the area’s official mass vaccination site, but Flowers is pleased with the number of doses they’ve been able to provide.

Brannon attributes part of the decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Wiregrass to the monoclonal antibody therapy that has been developed. He said Flowers Hospital had so far given more than 800 doses.

Flowers Hospital will continue to require masks, and Brannon said he sees a need for mask-wearing for a considerable time into the future.

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