AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – A massive effort is underway to help East Alabama Medical Center vaccinate up to one thousand people every day against COVID-19. The life-saving, pandemic ending operation is happening at the old Tuesday Morning storefront next to Big Lots, across from the Auburn Mall.
East Alabama Medical Center, the city of Auburn, Opelika, local nursing schools, Lee County EMA, Auburn United Methodist Church, and an army of volunteers, both medical and non-medical, are joining forces to turn this pandemic around one shot at a time.
Smith Station’s Anita Raines celebrates her 83rd birthday soon. Monday, Raines got her first COVID-19 vaccination.
“I am so blessed. It’s unusual to get excited about a shot, but I was. It’s a comfort; I feel like I am protecting myself and my family and my community. The staff was organized, fantastic and kind,” said Raines.
Monday morning, the old Tuesday Morning store became EAMC’s new vaccination location for Lee, Chambers, and Macon County residents. 75 and up, first responders and health care providers, and teachers are being vaccinated now. EAMC opened an online link for 65 plus and other essentials to register.
“The goal today is 500, tomorrow 650, Wednesday 750, and the goal is to be at 1,000 vaccines a day by the end of the week,” said EAMC’s VP of Operations, Bruce Zartman.
Volunteers, both medical and non-medical, are needed. Helpers can receive a vaccine and a place in history. Auburn United Methodist Church is helping to coordinate volunteers. You can sign up at this link: VOLUNTEER
“I won’t lie; I get choked up when I think about it. This is huge. I told the volunteers this morning. This is historical. We are changing people’s lives. They come in and are excited, some are scared, all the emotions. We have volunteers taking their hands and helping them. The vaccine is the way we end this pandemic, and I would encourage people to get it, pray on it and then get it if you feel led,” said Zartman.
Lee County EMA Director Rita Smith says the cooperation between multiple agencies has been phenomenal. The mission is professional and personal.
“Personally, as of today, I have known 14 people who have died from it, so it’s very personal to me. It’s amazing to see everyone coming together to work like this,” said Smith.
Auburn Firefighter Clay Carson says it’s an honor to participate in the effort.
“We are in this together. It feels great to be a part of this and to be able to say, hey, we helped get rid of this pandemic. If you can volunteer, come out, and we would love to have you. We need help, so come and be a part of this,” said Carson.
East Alabama Medical Center is working closely with Alabama Public Health on vaccine supply, which is tight. Supply is expected to ramp up.
Meanwhile, each appointment is taking about 30 minutes, including 15 minutes of observation after you are vaccinated. You will receive your return appointment when you are there for the booster vaccine.
EAMC provided detailed information in a Monday afternoon release: EAMC opened its new Community COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic today. You can register on their website
East Alabama Medical Center, in collaboration with the cities of Auburn and Opelika, the Lee County Emergency Management Agency, and Auburn United Methodist Church have opened a community COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the old “Tuesday Morning” building in the Market Square Shopping Center. The clinic is located at 1716 Opelika Road in Auburn—next to Big Lots and across from Auburn Mall. This clinic replaces the one that EAMC was hosting at its Education Center.
Who is eligible to request a COVID-19 vaccination at this clinic? Residents of Lee, Macon, and Chambers Counties who fall in one of the following sub-groups:
Ages 65 and greater
K-12 school personnel
Volunteers at Community Covid-19 Clinic
Please be aware self-scheduling is limited to five days out because of the uncertainty of vaccine availability. In other words, if the time slots for the next five days are all filled, you will not be able to get scheduled until a time slot within five days is open. Once you receive your confirmation that your appointment has been scheduled, there is no need to register again.
Frequently Asked Questions
What time should I arrive? Because our appointments are scheduled, there is no waiting in line upon arrival. We ask that you remain in your car until 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
What do I need to bring with me? A photo ID is required. If the address on your photo ID is not from Lee, Chambers, or Macon counties, please bring a utility bill or other document that shows you live in one of these three counties.
Can I bring my child or a guest with me? Space is limited, and only the person receiving a vaccine is permitted inside unless the recipient needs direct assistance from a caregiver.
Do I need to wear a mask? YES. Masks are required at all times and must cover your mouth and nose.
My schedule is hectic. Do I have to have an appointment, or can I just come by and wait in line? Vaccinations are by appointment only. Walk-ins are not permitted.
I heard you have leftover vaccines at the end of the day. Can I come by then? NO. There are no “leftover” doses at the end of the day—all doses are accounted for, and no doses are wasted.
I received my first dose at the EAMC Education Center. Do I need to go back there for my second dose? NO. This clinic location has replaced the one that was operating at the EAMC Education Center. Patients who received their first dose there should come to the new location on the day and time of their scheduled second dose.
When will additional groups be included in the vaccine registration?
Other sub-groups listed by Gov. Ivey in her press release on January 29 will be available to use the link beginning Monday, February 8 as outlined in the following press release.
You may have seen the news about EAMC’s new community vaccine clinic! Our volunteer coordination plan is coming together, and we need your help to fill these spots!
- The day is split into 2 shifts. We’ll have 12 morning slots (6:45-11) and 12 afternoon slots (11-3:30) for general volunteers to help patients through the process. Volunteers are welcome to serve in both shifts.+
- There will also be 4 all day check-in/check-out volunteer slots. These volunteers will use EAMC’s appointments application on a laptop to check in/out patients and ensure they have completed a vaccine registration questionnaire. Training will be provided on how to use the appointments application and these volunteers will mostly be seated throughout the day.
- Lunch will only be provided for volunteers serving both shifts in a single day or the all-day check-in/out shift. Volunteers serving the afternoon shift need to eat lunch before arrival. Snacks and drinks are available for all volunteers.
- Rosanna McGinnis with the City of Opelika and Joe Davis with Auburn United Methodist Church are combining efforts to coordinate volunteers through the VOMO app. To volunteer, you will need to follow the link below, create an account and sign up for a shift. Because we must have so many volunteers, this single stream will condense coordination efforts and make it easier for us to make sure we are fully supporting our healthcare workers.
- Currently, we are searching for February volunteers, and we will add March dates once we get farther into February. If you can commit to a single day every week or multiple half-day shifts, please feel free to sign up for as many as you can commit to.
- Volunteers will be eligible to get the vaccine. We are still working with EAMC administration staff on how to send out the appointment registration link to you, but we will likely do so via the email you provide in VOMO.