People camp out for Mobile County Health Department COVID-19 vaccine


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Health Department is getting ready for its first open vaccination clinic for people 75 and older, health care workers and first responders Saturday morning. People started lining up before six o’clock Friday evening.

The health department got 1,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that’ll be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no residency requirement for this vaccination.

WKRG News 5 reporter Dana Winter asked the first man in line, “Why did you decide to come wait in line?” Johnny Evans said, “I’m retired I had nothing else to do. Why not? That’s just the second reason. The first reason is I hope this vaccine works.”

The second person in line, Jerry Thornley said, “Actually I’m from Pensacola and I want the shot it’s that simple.”

Evans and Thornley told WKRG News 5 they’re prepared to camp out for the vaccine.

Thornley said, “I remember watching TV in south Florida how these people sat half the night and still didn’t get in, so I said well it won’t be the first time I slept in a car.”

Both men said they had no luck making an appointment. They feel getting in line was their only way to make sure they got vaccinated.

Evans said, “All the lines that you call, you can’t get through.” Thornley said, “Seems like you try to sign up and all of these things online and good luck.”

While the Health Department reports you do not have to live in Mobile County to get the vaccine, they do say it’s good to live close. Dr. Rendi Murprhee said, “If you come tomorrow, you will need to come back to the cruise terminal on that date. I want to make sure that’s clear, so I don’t want you driving from Mississippi or Florida to come get vaccinated in Mobile County tomorrow.” 

Mobile Police already set out cones expecting big lines. Officers will patrol the area making sure everyone waiting remains safe.

Evans said, “I’ve been coming down here pretty much all day today to try to see when people would start coming down here, you know, and so I just wanted to be in line, necessarily want to be first. I just wanted to be one of the first 50 people maybe.”

Evans told WKRG News 5 he’s getting vaccinated for a very special reason. He said, “I wanna get back to Illinois. I’ve got a bunch of great grandkids up there, couple of them I never saw.”

People ages 75 and older will be vaccinated from 8:00 in the morning until 1:30 in the afternoon. After that, healthcare workers and first responders will be vaccinated from 1:30 PM until 8:00 PM.

CLICK HERE for the paperwork you’ll need for tomorrow’s Mobile County Health Department vaccine clinic.

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