Alabamians 75+, first responders can get COVID-19 vaccine statewide starting January 18
Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Friday announced that ADPH will provide COVID-19 vaccinations for residents 75-years-old and older, as well as first responders, statewide by appointment only effective January 18.
Appointments at locations throughout the state will be made first come, first served. The addition of these groups is not a full expansion into the next phase of the vaccine rollout, per a release.
First responders include law enforcement officers and fire fighters. Health care workers are already eligible to receive the vaccine, as are nursing home residents.
“I appreciate the swift work of ADPH to establish a system to efficiently provide our limited resources of vaccine to as many Alabamians as possible,” Ivey said in a statement.
“We have previously worked to provide vaccines to our health care workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic, and now, are diligently working to expand access to our seniors, law enforcement officers and various members of our first responders,” she continued. “It is critical for everyone to remain patient; demand is high, and supply is low. ADPH and their partners are working around-the-clock to assist as many people as they can.”
ADPH is now encouraging local sites to vaccinate persons in the 75-plus age group and first responders to prevent any loss of vaccine due to cold chain storage requirements as the vaccine uptake for the 1A phase is satisfied in certain areas.
“We recognize that demand for vaccine exceeds supply,” stated State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. “While there is still an insufficient amount of the vaccine supply, we want to maximize our resources to help protect Alabamians at high risk. County health departments are working with their local points of distribution to assess what their vaccination reach has been. Decisions about the next groups to vaccinate are made at the community level with community engagement. If the very high-risk population has been covered adequately, providers can then begin vaccinating people in the other priority groups.”
Nearly 350,000 people in the state of Alabama would qualify for a vaccine at 75-years-old and older.
To schedule an appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccination, individuals may call the ADPH toll-free phone number at 1-855-566-5333. Telephone calls are answered from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. seven days a week.
Click here for vaccination locations. Additional specific information, such as what to bring and what to wear, will be provided when appointments are made.
If wanting to be vaccinated at sites other than a county health department, such as a private provider, individuals should contact those sites directly.
In the United States, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are currently being utilized; both are two-dose vaccines, taken weeks apart. President-elect Joe Biden on Friday announced he will begin distributing all available doses rather than guaranteeing second doses.
Go here for more information on COVID-19 vaccines.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn