Alliance Hospital responds to COVID-19

Alliance Healthcare Hospital is the only local provider for the vaccine and treatment for the COVID-19 virus during this pandemic, according to Dr. Kenneth Williams.

Alliance is a minority-owned hospital in Holly Springs and as such, wants to make sure minorities as well as all races are comfortable about taking this vaccine. Williams said minorities are not

coming out to get the vaccine due to multiple factors but especially due to historical concerns and distrust of vaccines and medical treatments from past years.

“If we do not get approximately 8085 percent of people vaccinated we will not achieve `Herd Immunity’ so people can feel free to go back to our regular lives,” he said. Some members of the board of supervisors have expressed an interest in a local vaccination site at a recent meeting.

“We would love nothing more than to serve the Marshall and Benton county area and to be the number one site for the state,” Williams said.

He also is interested in conversations about serving as a pilot site for the roll-out of another single-shot vaccine, he said.

Holly Springs Mayor Kelvin Buck took the vaccine and was interviewed by the Oxford media in an attempt to encourage minorities to get vaccinated. This includes not having transportation to go to sites in another county or city. Another barrier is often a distrust of vaccines.

Chief nursing officer Marketia Morrow said Alliance is one of few facilities offering the vaccine in rural areas.

So far 900 first doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 400 second doses have been received and given which started on December 23, 2020, she said.

They are working closely with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) to secure vaccines for this area. When the MSDH sends the first dose of Moderna, it automatically will send second doses to be given within the 28 day waiting period, for the booster dose, she said.

As for minorities, Morrow said barriers are misconceptions of vaccines, and failure to research and understand the phases of development for a vaccine.

The number one side effect, as with most vaccines, is soreness at the site of vaccination, she said. Other possible side effects of Moderna can be fever, aches, chills, and fatigue, she said. Some have reported these symptoms for one to two days, and others have reported no symptoms.

She concluded her explanation with “the response is unique to each individual, but most would rather endure these side effects than experience COVID-19.”

There is a long waiting list at Alliance, but some of those on the waiting list may have already gone to other sites for their shot. The waiting list also includes people from other counties such as Panola, DeSoto, Tippah, and from the state of Tennessee.

“When we first received the vaccines, we had more inquiries from other areas than our local areas,” Morrow said.

The waiting is not just for those living in Marshall County, she said, however “our priority is to our community in Marshall, Benton and surrounding counties.”

The vaccine is given five days a week for about three to four hours a day.

Treatment of COVID Morrow said the hospital has two treatments available for COVID diagnosed positive cases, the treatment is given on an outpatient basis and inpatient basis. The monoclonal antibody, bamlanivimab treatment requires about two hours – the first an hour used to infuse the antibody intravenously and an hour of observation prior to the patient leaving the hospital.

The treatment with the drug remdesivir is a more aggressive treatment of active COVID infection and is a five-day, in-hospital stay. In-patients whose symptoms are more severe require aggressive treatment, Morrow said.

An estimated 70 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and really sick have been treated as in-patients, she said. Ten to 15 patients have received the monoclonal antibody.

“We know that a lot more patients could benefit from our treatment protocol,” she said.

The outpatient treatment is given for several groups of people including those age 65 and over, those with preexisting medical conditions such as a high Body Mass Index, those with chronic kidney problems, with diabetes, or those who are receiving any type of immunosuppressive therapy. The monoclonal antibody decreases the risk for people to have serious symptoms of COVID, she said.

To schedule an appointment for the vaccine, call Alliance at 662-252-1212, extension 1012.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
www.southreporter.com

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