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Cottrell’s now making vaccine appointments

A locally owned pharmacy is doing their part in providing COVID-19 vaccines for the community.

Danny Cottrell, owner of Cotrell’s Hometown Pharmacy in East Brewton, said the pharmacy will be receiving a shipment of vaccines and will make them available to those in the community who want to be vaccinated.

“We are now taking calls for people who want to be put on our list for the vaccines next week,” Cottrell said. “We expect to be able to provide between 60 and 80 vaccinations on scheduled days next week.”

Cottrell said numbers seen over the past week in regard to the number of vaccines administered in Alabama has show great hope.

“We have a lot better coverage than I thought,” Cottrell said. “Some of the people who were previously on our waiting list have found other sources to get the shot. We are contacting those who have been on our waiting list to make sure they are covered with the vaccine.”

Cottrell said that getting on the list is important since the vaccine  has a short shelf-life once opened.

The vaccine vials have a small window of use once the first dose is taken from the vial, Cottrell said. Meaning that once a vial is opened, the staff has just a few hours to use the entire vial before it is disposed of.

“We haven’t lost a dose yet,” Cottrell said. “We don’t want to lose any or have to throw anything away. We want to get the vaccines in as many arms as we can.”

Cottrell said those who are eligible for the vaccine, based on the ADPH guidelines, should make an appointment as soon as possible.

“We will be administering the vaccine on Thursday and Friday of this week and will plan more for next week,” Cottrell said. “It’s important to make an appointment as soon as possible to make sure you are on the list.”

Cottrell said tthe field of eligible residents is widening as more vaccine is made available to pharmacies across the state and the country.

“We are seeing more and more people become eligible for the vaccine,” Cottrell said. “We want to get to a point where we can get everyone vaccinated from young to older people.”

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the current list of eligible patients include: Persons age 65-74 years; Persons age 16-64 years with high risk medical conditions; Additional critical workers including those involved in transportation and logistics, waste and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing, (e.g. construction), finance (e.g. bank tellers), information technology and communication, energy, legal, media, and public safety (e.g. engineers).

Cottrell said the effectiveness of the vaccine is much like a flu vaccine in terms of time to full efficacy.

“In the first two weeks after getting the vaccine, you could still get the virus,” Cottrell said. “But, after the first two weeks, the efficacy of the vaccine is at about 85 percent. At about 42 days after the full vaccine, the efficacy is at about 95 percent. So, getting the shot as quickly as you can will help to get you into that safety zone sooner.”

Cottrell said that there is still hope if you miss a chance at getting the vaccine this week or next.

“Based on how much quicker the vaccine is being made available, I expect that we will see more vaccine than we have arms to put it in happen by mid-April,” Cottrell said. “Getting these vaccines will give everyone a feeling of relief.”

To contact Cottrell’s Hometown Pharmacy to schedule an appointment, contact them at 809-1010 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The pharmacy is located on Forrest Avenue in East Brewton.