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Hospitals in Alabama have begun administering coronavirus vaccine doses to healthcare workers

Hospitals across Alabama began giving doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to healthcare workers on Tuesday, a major milestone in the state’s efforts to combat the virus that has upended nearly all aspects of normal life.

Alabama’s first recipient of the vaccine was Dr. Walter Doty, the director of critical care at the Dothan area hospital Southeast Health. Donna Snow, a registered nurse at Cullman Regional, was the first recipient in the northern half of the state.

Southeast Health was one of the three hospitals in the state to receive its vaccine doses on Monday, with 12 more hospitals receiving their shots on Tuesday.

Alabama’s total allotment for its first shipment is 40,950 doses of the vaccine.

Of the state’s initial round of doses, 50% will be given to hospital healthcare workers, along with 15% for EMS providers, 15% for physician offices and 20% for other hospital staff, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Pfizer’s vaccine was shown in clinical trials to be 95% effective at preventing those who take it from contracting COVID-19.

The product is administered via two injections, given three weeks apart. In the time between the two injections, the vaccine has shown to be 52% effective, meaning those receiving their first shot on Tuesday will not be fully vaccinated until the new year.

In more good news, a report from FDA scientists appeared to indicate that a second vaccine, produced by the company Moderna, was on the verge of being approved.

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris had indicated in past media briefings that Alabama would be in line to receive an allotment of the Moderna vaccine that contains around the same number of doses as the initial Pfizer shipment.

UAB Hospital, the state’s largest, received 10,725 doses of the vaccine on Tuesday. UAB is one of the 12 in the state to receive their portion Tuesday, and they, along with the other 11, will begin administering their doses on Wednesday or the day after.

Tomie Ann Boackle, associate chief pharmacy officer at the university hospital, said on Tuesday, “I’ve been at UAB for 23 years, and this is one of the most exciting days. To know that this could be the next step in ending this pandemic is quite important.”

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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