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First coronavirus vaccine doses arrive at three Alabama hospitals on Monday, 12 more on Tuesday

Alabama’s initial allotment of the first approved coronavirus vaccine is arriving in the state early this week, with three hospitals receiving their doses on Monday and 12 more getting their shipments on Tuesday.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) made the announcement in a news release on Monday. Alabama is receiving a total of 40,950 doses in its initial allotment.

A full list of the 15 Alabama hospitals receiving the product has not yet been made available, though State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said in a recent briefing they are mostly the larger hospitals in the state’s more populous cities.

ADPH provided a breakdown on Monday of how they will administer the initial 40,950 doses.

  • 50% for hospital healthcare workers,
  • 15% for EMS providers,
  • 15% for physician offices, and
  • 20% for other hospital staff not associated with the point of distribution.

UAB Hospital, the state’s largest medical facility, has announced it will be receiving 10,725 doses in the initial round.

“ADPH selected hospitals to receive the initial allocation based upon their ability to handle ultracold storage product,” the agency stated on Monday.

The agency says the initial doses will be given to subjects “within a day or days.”

Pfizer’s vaccine, the one being shipped to Alabama, was shown in clinical trials to be 95% effective at preventing the recipient from coming down with the coronavirus. The FDA approved an emergency use authorization for the product on Friday and the CDC cleared its last procedural hurdle on Saturday.

The vaccine is administered via injection in two doses given three weeks apart. Studies showed it was 52% effective for the three weeks between doses, later becoming 95% effective after the second dose.

“The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine’s side effect profile indicated that some recipients had pain at the site of injection, headaches, fever, muscle aches and chills,” ADPH warned on Monday, adding the side effects last generally two days at the most, and usually less.

A second vaccine product, from the company Moderna, showed almost identical results in clinical trials. Its approval from the FDA is expected at the end of the current week or early in the next.

In the meantime, ADPH says that “Additional vaccine doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are expected at weekly intervals, and the second doses of the vaccine will be included in follow-up allocations.”

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: [email protected] or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

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