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Vaccine distribution begins in Franklin County 

Terry Bolton was all smiles Jan. 19 for the Franklin County Commission meeting as he informed the commissioners that he, among several others in the county, had received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Bolton express how smooth the process was to get vaccinated and encouraged everyone to receive their vaccine once it is available to them. 

“Everything has been going great, and I haven’t noticed any symptoms,” Bolton said. “I just wanted to give everyone an update since I know this is something we are all excited is here.” 

The vaccine distribution process is in Phase 1B, which includes everyone 75 and older and those considered essential workers, including healthcare providers, firefighters, police officers and EMS. 

Franklin County EMA Director Mary Hallman Glass said vaccine distribution began at the Franklin County Health Department Dec. 29 for those eligible for the first phase of the vaccine, healthcare workers. 

Three agencies in Franklin County are administering the vaccine: the Franklin County Health Department, Russellville Hospital and Red Bay Hospital. 

To schedule an appointment, first call the Alabama COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-566-5333. 

Northwest-Shoals Community College nursing students have been helping with administering the vaccine at the Shoals campus through a partnership with Helen Keller Hospital. 

“We are excited to partner with Helen Keller Hospital to aid in the process of vaccinating our community,” said NW-SCC President Glenda Colagross. “Our hospitals and healthcare workers do so much to help keep us safe. We are so glad we can play a small part in facilitating the vaccine distribution.”  

An appointment is necessary to receive the vaccine, since it must be thawed before it can be administered. 

“Everyone has been doing a great job with it, and we just hope everyone is patient,” Hallman Glass said. 

Everyone who receives the first round of the vaccine will receive a vaccine card with a date to return four weeks later at the same time for the second dose. 

“I just hope this all works so families don’t have to go through what we’ve been through,” Hallman Glass said. 

Hallman Glass said she has lost several family members, including her mother, to COVID-19. 

“Honestly, having the vaccine now gives a lot of people hope for the future,” Hallman Glass said. “This is something that has been so devastating to so many, so we are hopeful things are about to get better.”