National Health Center Week to be celebrated August 8-14

August 2, 2021

National Health Center Week to be celebrated August 8-14

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) and Family Health (FH), its primary care division, are observing National Health Center Week (NHCW) with special activities both in person and virtually. The weeklong campaign is set for August 8 to 14. The purpose of this annual celebration is to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.

Health centers provide preventive and primary care services to almost 30 million people and have continued to do so while facing a global pandemic. Community Health Centers provide care to people who disproportionately suffer from chronic disease and lack access to affordable, quality care.

While COVID-19 continues to exacerbate social and medical inequities across the country, Community Health Centers like Family Health have stretched themselves to reconfigure services for those in need.

During NHCW, we will come together to celebrate the roles Community Health Centers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme for this year’s NHCW is “The Chemistry for Strong Communities.” MCHD/FH has planned special events during NHCW to coordinate with the nation-wide “focus days” that showcase the innovative ways MCHD/FH provides high-quality health care and improving health outcomes.

• On Sunday, August 8, Public Health in Housing Day – MCHD/FH will initiate a social media campaign highlighting the locations most convenient and accessible to public housing complexes.
• On Monday, August 9, Healthcare for the Homeless Day – MCHD/FH will initiate a social media campaign highlighting COVID testing locations throughout the community.
• On Tuesday, August 10, Agricultural Worker Health Day – MCHD/FH will highlight the Semmes Health Center and its importance within the community servicing agricultural and migrant workers.
• On Wednesday, August 11, Patient Appreciation Day – MCHD/FH will post, via Facebook, patient education information, as well as distribute a surprise token of appreciation in observance of this year’s theme to each patient on this day at each Health Center site location.
• On Thursday, August 12, Stakeholder Appreciation Day – MCHD/FH staff will be sending “thank you” notes to its Governing Council members, who oversee FH operations.
• On Friday, August 13, Health Center Staff Appreciation Day – All MCHD/FH employees will receive a surprise token of appreciation in observance of this year’s theme.
• On Saturday, August 14, Children’s Health Day – MCHD/FH will post a video on Facebook of fun “at-home” science experiments for children. We hope to raise awareness of the importance of children receiving the CDC recommended childhood vaccinations.

Community Health Centers, such as Family Health, are community-based and local and collectively Health Centers represent the backbone of the nation’s primary care system. Community Health Centers lower health care costs to the tune of $24 billion a year, reduce rates of chronic diseases, and stimulate local economies.

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow

August 2, 2021

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow

MOBILE, Ala. — Mobile Area Water & Sewer System (MAWSS) responded to a Sanitary Sewer Overflow on July 30 at 3951 Azalea Road. Approximately 22,950 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Eslava Creek as a result of a break on a sewer main line. MAWSS crews have repaired the break and are taking the necessary steps to prevent future overflows at this location.

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents should take precautions when using Eslava Creek for recreational purposes because of this overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

MCHD has many COVID-19 outreach events planned

July 30, 2021

MCHD has many COVID-19 outreach events planned

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s (MCHD) COVID-19 Response Team has more opportunities to get your vaccine shots next week. As with all MCHD COVID-19 events, this will follow a first-come, first-served format. No appointments will be taken.

On Monday, August 2, MCHD will provide COVID-19 vaccine at the Citronelle Recreation Center (8230 State Street) from 9 a.m. to noon. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older).

On Monday, August 2, MCHD will provide COVID-19 vaccine at the Hillsdale Community Center (558 Felhorn Road East in Mobile)from 2 to 5 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older).

On Monday, August 2, MCHD will provide COVID-19 vaccine at the Robert Hope Community Center (850 Edwards Street in Mobile) from 2 to 5 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older).

On Tuesday, August 3, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine at the MOWA Choctaw Tribal Office (1080 West Red Fox Road in Mount Vernon) from 9 a.m. to noon. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older).

On Tuesday, August 3, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine at the Airbus Assembly Complex (Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, 320 Airbus Way in Mobile) from noon to 4 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older).

On Wednesday, August 4, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine at Bishop State Community College’s Oliver Delchamps Building (351 North Broad Street in Mobile) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older).

On Wednesday, August 4, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine at All Saints Church Homeless Outreach (151 South Ann Street in Mobile) from 8 to 10 a.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older).

On Thursday,  August 5, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine at Wilmer Hall Children’s Home (3811 Old Shell Road in Mobile) from 5 to 7 p.m. This will offer both the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older).

On Thursday,  August 5, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine at Mobile County Church of Christ (9360 Louis Tillman Road in Grand Bay) from 6 to 7 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older). This event is a Community Prevention Program sponsored by Fernland Community Action Group.

On every Thursday, MCHD will offer Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) at the Occupational Health Center. This facility is located near the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley (2050 Michigan Avenue in Mobile). The vaccine clinic will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

On Friday, August 6, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine during Mr. Bellingrath’s Birthday Celebration (12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road in Theodore) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will offer both the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older).

On Friday, August 6, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine at the Boys & Girls Club Kiwanis Branch (712 Rice Street in Mobile) from 4 to 7 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older). This clinic takes place every three weeks.

On Friday, August 6, MCHD will offer COVID-19 vaccine during the Back-to-School Extravaganza at Aquavia Event Home (2140 Lott Road in Eight Mile). This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older).

On Saturday, August 7, MCHD will conduct a vaccine event at the Mobile Flea Market (401 Schillinger Road North in Mobile) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will offer both the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older).

On Saturday, August 7, MCHD will conduct a vaccine event at the Optimist Boys & Girls Club annual Pancake Breakfast (1517 Plaza Drive in Mobile) from 8:30 a.m. to noon. This will offer both the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Those coming for their second-dose booster shot should bring the CDC vaccination card that was presented to them after their primary shot. If you no longer have the card, please be prepared to wait for the MCHD staff to retrieve your information from the statewide vaccination system.

The public can now get either the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for those 18 and older), the Pfizer vaccine (for those 12 and older) or the Moderna vaccine (for those 18 and older) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at both the Keeler Memorial Building (251 North Bayou Street in Mobile) and the Newburn Building (248 Cox Street in Mobile).

Along with offering vaccine, the Keeler and Newburn staffs also provide walk-in rapid testing weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Testing is free to all ages. Results are provided within 15 to 30 minutes while you wait. No appointments are necessary.

Individuals requesting a molecular test (Abbott ID Now) or a PCR test (through LabCorp) for personal preference or for travel must be tested at Family Health location. Appointments for these specific tests may be made by calling 251-690-8889.

For those wishing to make an appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine, MCHD is now offering first-dose and second-dose Moderna vaccinations at several of its Family Health locations conveniently located throughout Mobile County. To secure a time to receive the shot, please call 251-690-8889.

To learn the latest on MCHD’s vaccine events, visit www.MCHDcares.com or call 251-410-MCHD (6243). Information is also available under the Events section of https://www.facebook.com/ILOVEMCHD/

MCHD warns of health risks related to high temperatures

July 29, 2021

MCHD warns of health risks related to high temperatures

MOBILE, Ala. — The National Weather Service is predicting hot and humid conditions across our forecast area. High temperatures are forecasted to reach into the middle and upper 90s through Friday and into the weekend. These hot temperatures, in combination with dewpoints in the 70s, will result in afternoon and early evening heat index values between 108 and 112 degrees.

These hot temperatures and heat index values will create a dangerous situation, especially for those participating in strenuous outdoor activities or individuals with underlying health conditions.

The Mobile County Health Department is warning people that heat cramps, sunburn, and heat exhaustion are likely, and heat stroke is possible, with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity when Heat Index values are at these levels.
Infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, people who have a mental illness, and those who are physically ill (especially with heart disease or high blood pressure) are at the greatest risk. Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.

“We urge everyone in our community to understand the dangers of heat-related illnesses or deaths,” said Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for Mobile County.

Tips for preventing heat-related disorders
• Drink more fluids regardless of your activity level. Do not wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
• Do not drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar. They cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks because they can cause stomach cramps.
• Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
• Electric fans may provide comfort; but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Take a cool shower or bath. Moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• Never leave children (or anyone else) or pets in a closed, parked vehicle.
• Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat
• Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
• Cut down on outdoor exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
• Try to rest often in shady areas.
• Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Also, put sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

Dr. Eichold offers statement on COVID-19 pandemic

July 29, 2021

Dr. Eichold offers statement on COVID-19 pandemic

MOBILE, Ala. — Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for Mobile County, is providing this statement in response to the recent uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in our area:

“Our community and medical teams did a great job containing COVID-19 transmission from February through May. We had extremely high numbers in January and began heading in the right direction once the vaccine became available. The elderly community’s response to vaccinations has been great but those younger than 65, particularly those 50 years of age and younger, has been disappointing.

“As COVID-19 activity increases (two months ago the percentage of positive tests was 3% and we are now at approximately 20%), MCHD encourages everyone eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Studies show that fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to spread the virus to others, even if they do get COVID-19.

“Additionally, MCHD highly recommends wearing a mask when with individuals outside of your immediate household. We need to halt disease transmission once again with masking and distancing as we encourage unvaccinated individuals to get vaccinated to protect our families, friends, and community. These layers of protection will help break the vicious cycle and mutation of COVID-19 in our communities. Together, we can stop COVID-19.”

MCHD places sentinel chickens throughout the county to monitor for diseases

July 28, 2021

MCHD places sentinel chickens throughout the county to monitor for diseases

MOBILE, Ala. — For almost 30 years, the Mobile County Health Department’s (MCHD) Vector Services has monitored sentinel chickens placed throughout the county to help detect the presence of viruses carried by mosquitoes. The practice is being renewed, as the first of 13 coops were deposited last Friday in various predetermined locations.

In April, 100 chicks arrived at Vector Services (a vector is any insect, rodent, or animal capable of harboring or transmitting diseases to humans) the day after being hatched. Vector Services keeps the chickens in a facility that is a half-enclosed hen house and half-screened yard. It has taken several months for the chickens to mature enough to be placed into service.

Prior to the coops being dispatched, the chickens received their initial blood draw to ensure they were healthy. They have also been vaccinated for fowl pox. Each hen is then numbered, and a band is placed on them for tracking purposes.

Starting soon, the Vector Services inspectors will draw blood samples at each location from the wings of two hens, usually on Mondays. The samples are sent to the Florida Department of Health Laboratory in Tampa. The results are available by that Friday.

The tests can reveal the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis. MCHD received a report this week of a human case of WNV. Because of patient privacy rights under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), no additional identifying information will be made available to the public. Residents need to be vigilant in preventing bites.

With the use of 13 coops, it means only 52 hens are used at one time. The rest are kept in reserve at Vector Services. If one dies, the remaining three are left in the field. Should two hens die, the entire coop is replaced.

The program continues into the fall, usually until Thanksgiving or mid-December. At that point, the hens are given away to the people at the locations where the coops are kept. A new group of 100 chicks will start the program the following spring.

Vector Services also has mosquito traps set up across Mobile County. The traps are used with reports from inspectors and complaints from the public to track the local mosquito population. There are more than 50 species of mosquitoes in Mobile County.

Since 2018, those collections from the traps are brought to researchers at the University of South Alabama on a weekly basis. An entomologist will identify and sort the mosquitoes into pools. A virologist will screen the pools for viruses including Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya using high-throughput molecular methods.

Vector Services’ fleet of trucks has been covering 50 routes across Mobile County with night-time spraying since May. Vector Services is rotating first- and second-generation chemical insecticides and organophosphates so that no tolerance is built up in the mosquito population.

MCHD also has an airplane — a Cessna 182Q — that can spray insecticides along coastal areas and in other places that are inaccessible by truck.

“The Mobile County Health Department opened in 1816 to deal with Yellow Fever, which we learned later was being carried by mosquitoes,” said Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for Mobile County. “We are still fighting mosquitoes today, and I am sure we are going to be for a long time.”

To report an issue with mosquitoes, call 251-690-8124 or email VectorServices@mchd.org. To learn more, please visit https://mchd.org/vector-control.

MCHD observes World Hepatitis Day

July 28, 2021

MCHD observes World Hepatitis Day

MOBILE, Ala. — World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is recognized annually on July 28, the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg (1925–2011). Dr. Blumberg discovered the Hepatitis B virus in 1967, and two years later he developed the first Hepatitis B vaccine. These achievements culminated in Dr. Blumberg winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976.

Organizations around the world — including the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD), World Health Organization (WHO), and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) — commemorate WHD to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, which impacts more than 354 million people worldwide. WHD creates an opportunity to educate people about the burden of these infections, public health’s efforts to combat viral hepatitis around the world, and actions people can take to prevent these infections.

“Commemorating World Hepatitis Day is vitally important for Mobile County, especially since the Hepatitis A outbreak began in 2019,” said Dr. Sandra Henley, who works in MCHD’s Vaccine Preventable Disease Program under the Communicable Disease Surveillance Division. “Presently, there are 194 outbreak Hepatitis A cases consisting of 59 percent male with an average age of 42 years old.”

This year’s theme is “Hepatitis can’t wait,” conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness – even in the current COVID-19 crisis – we cannot wait to act on viral hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, and Hepatitis E — affects millions of people worldwide, causing both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) liver disease. Viral hepatitis causes more than one million deaths each year. While deaths from tuberculosis and HIV have been declining, deaths from hepatitis are increasing.

Dr. Henley said MCHD provides vaccines for Hepatitis A and B. For more information, contact the MCHD at 251-690-8889.

First human case of West Nile Virus this year reported

July 26, 2021

First human case of West Nile Virus this year reported

MOBILE, Ala. — A case of human West Nile virus (WNV), which is a form of mosquito-borne encephalitis, has been confirmed in Mobile County, according to Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for Mobile County.

This is the first human case reported in Mobile County this year. Because of patient confidentiality laws, no other information is available about the case.

Humans with WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases often have symptoms of high fever, severe headache, nausea, stiff neck, confusion, muscle weakness, paralysis, disorientation, and seizures that are severe enough to require medical attention, Eichold said. In rare cases, WNV can cause coma or death. The seriousness of an illness may depend on a person’s health and age. WNV affects the elderly most severely, health data shows.

“The public should assume that there are mosquitoes carrying the disease throughout Mobile County,” Dr. Eichold said. “Don’t let your guard down.”

The risk of encephalitis spread by mosquitoes is highest from August through the first freeze in the fall, Dr. Eichold said. Vector Services will increase spraying and conduct door-to-door surveys in the immediate areas. Inspectors will also attempt to trap adult mosquitoes and test them for the presence of WNV.

Health officials warn that it is extremely important that people taking part in outdoor activities make every effort to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes and should always keep mosquito repellent with them when outdoors. Mosquito activity peaks at dusk and again at dawn.

WNV is transmitted from bird to mosquito to bird. Mosquitoes can spread these viruses by feeding on the blood of infected birds and then biting another host animal or mammal such as a human or a horse.

Although humans and horses can become ill from the infection, the disease cannot be spread from people or horses. The likelihood of transmission to humans and horses can be decreased by personal mosquito avoidance and the use of WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) vaccines in horses. There are no WNV or EEE vaccines available for humans.

To report an issue with mosquitoes, call 251-690-8124 or email VectorServices@mchd.org. To learn more, please visit https://mchd.org/vector-control.

MCHD adds two more COVID-19 vaccine events this week

July 26, 2021

MCHD adds two more COVID-19 vaccine events this week

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s (MCHD) COVID-19 Response Team is announcing two more opportunities to get your vaccine shots in the coming week. As with all MCHD COVID-19 events, this will follow a first-come, first-served format. No appointments will be taken.

On Thursday, July 29, MCHD will provide COVID-19 vaccine at Booker T. Washington Middle School (1961 Andrews Street in Mobile) from 2 to 5 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older), the Moderna vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older).

On Friday, July 30, MCHD will provide COVID-19 vaccine at Top of the Line Barber Shop (1302 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Mobile) from noon to 3 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older).

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

On Tuesday, July 27, MCHD will provide COVID-19 vaccine at Mary W. Burroughs Elementary School (6875 Burroughs Lane in Theodore) from 1 to 3 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older).

On Thursday, July 29, MCHD will provide COVID-19 vaccine on the second floor of Mobile Regional Airport terminal (8400 Airport Boulevard in Mobile) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will offer the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (which has been approved for those 18 and older). This clinic takes place at this location every three weeks on Thursdays.

On every Thursday, MCHD will provide Pfizer mRNA vaccine (which has been approved for those 12 and older) at the Occupational Health Center. This facility is located near the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley (2050 Michigan Avenue in Mobile). The vaccine clinic will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

On Friday, July 30, MCHD’s COVID-19 Response Team will provide Pfizer vaccine at the Church of the Good Shephard (605 Donald Street in Mobile) from noon to 3 p.m. This vaccine has been approved for those 12 and older.

On Saturday, July 31, MCHD will provide Johnson & Johnson vaccine during the Back-to-School Extravaganza at Aquavia Event Home (2140 Lott Road in Eight Mile). This one-shot vaccine is approved for those 18 and older.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Those coming for their second-dose booster shot should bring the CDC vaccination card that was presented to them after their primary shot. If you no longer have the card, please be prepared to wait for the MCHD staff to retrieve your information from the statewide vaccination system.

The public can now get either the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for those 18 and older), the Pfizer vaccine (for those 12 and older) or the Moderna vaccine (for those 18 and older) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at both the Keeler Memorial Building (251 North Bayou Street in Mobile) and the Newburn Building (248 Cox Street in Mobile).

Along with offering vaccine, the Keeler and Newburn staffs also provide walk-in rapid testing weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Testing is free to all ages. Results are provided within 15 to 30 minutes while you wait. No appointments are necessary.

Individuals requesting a molecular test (Abbott ID Now) or a PCR test (through LabCorp) for personal preference or for travel must be tested at Family Health location. Appointments for these specific tests may be made by calling 251-690-8889.

For those wishing to make an appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine, MCHD is now offering first-dose and second-dose Moderna vaccinations at several of its Family Health locations conveniently located throughout Mobile County. To secure a time to receive the shot, please call 251-690-8889.

To learn the latest on MCHD’s vaccine events, visit www.MCHDcares.com or call 251-410-MCHD (6243). Information is also available under the Events section of https://www.facebook.com/ILOVEMCHD/

CNN visits MCHD to report on COVID-19 vaccination efforts

July 23, 2021

CNN visits MCHD to report on COVID-19 vaccination efforts

MOBILE, Ala. — It was quite an exciting day at the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) on Thursday. A team from CNN was present to produce a segment for the “Anderson Cooper 360” show. The episode is scheduled to run tonight between 7 and 8 p.m.

Gary Tuchman, a correspondent with the “Anderson Cooper 360” program, had reached out on Tuesday about doing a story on MCHD’s efforts to get more individuals vaccinated against COVID-19. In his initial email, he wanted the story to inspire viewers by showing them that “heroic people are out there ready to give you a COVID vaccine when you are ready for it.”

The team from CNN consisted of Mr. Tuchman, producer Anne Clifford, and cameraman Mark Biello. They traveled from across the country to converge in Mobile. Mr. Tuchman drove from Atlanta, Ms. Clifford flew in from New York, while Mr. Biello arrived from Jacksonville, Fla.

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer of Mobile County, and Dr. Laura Cepeda, MCHD’s Chief Medical Officer, met the CNN staff when they arrived Thursday morning at the Keeler Memorial Building in Downtown Mobile. The CNN crew began by recording the COVID-19 vaccine operations that take place at Keeler each weekday.

After conducting an interview with Dr. Rendi Murphree, an Epidemiologist who oversees MCHD’s Bureau of Disease Surveillance and Control, the CNN team continued to speak with clients who agreed to tell their stories on why they had decided to come to Keeler that day to be vaccinated.

The filming continued into the night as the CNN trio followed our COVID-19 Response Team as it set up a vaccination clinic at the Bay Bites Food Truck Festival inside Mobile’s Cooper Riverside Park. It was the third outreach of the day for the COVID-19 Response Team, as MCHD had already given shots during the Dauphin Island Market in the Park and at the Occupational Health Center.

The stories from the clients at Cooper Riverside Park were much different from those who had come to Keeler. The ones getting their shots at the food truck event were not originally planning to be vaccinated on Thursday. However, when they saw MCHD was onsite ready to provide either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they took advantage of the opportunity.

MCHD and Family Health, its primary care division, have administered more than 30,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. After hosting 22 clinics at the Alabama Cruise Terminal, they have gone on to conduct approximately 130 community-based clinics. This includes providing vaccine to international crews on cargo ships visiting Mobile and Theodore, as well as giving shots to homebound residents and their caregivers.

Overall, only 1 in 3 residents of Mobile County are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The weekly number of people infected with COVID-19 is going up, while the weekly number of people getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is going down. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms in Mobile County has gone from 32 on July 9 to 75 on Wednesday.

The public can get either the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for those 18 and older), the Pfizer vaccine (for those 12 and older) or the Moderna vaccine (for those 18 and older) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at both the Keeler Memorial Building (251 North Bayou Street in Mobile) and the Newburn Building (248 Cox Street in Mobile).

The daily COVID-19 data can be found at https://mchd.org/covid-19-dashboard. To learn the latest on MCHD’s vaccine events, visit www.MCHDcares.com or call 251-410-MCHD (6243). Information is also available under the Events section of https://www.facebook.com/ILOVEMCHD/

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