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Those 65 and older, teachers and other frontline workers can get COVID vaccine Feb. 8

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health announced on Friday, Jan. 29 that starting Feb. 8, the ADPH will extend eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations to include people 65 and older, and additional groups of frontline workers, including teachers.

“Alabama is expanding its guidance despite the limited vaccine in order to accelerate the vaccine uptake in our state,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “I want to reiterate that any remaining vaccines that have not been administered are either someone’s first dose and they are waiting on their appointment or they are waiting on their second dose. Any vaccine currently in the state has someone’s name on it.”

Frontline critical workers listed in the next phase are as follows:

  • First responders
  • Corrections officers
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Grocery store workers
  • Public transit workers
  • People who work in the education sector (teachers, support staff, community college and higher education)
    Childcare workers
  • Judiciary (including but not limited to) circuit judges, district judges and district attorneys

The additional priority groups will add more than 1 million people that are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Alabama. While just less than 2 million people will qualify to receive the vaccine, the state continues to only receive around 100,000 doses each week.

As of today, 148,549 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 175,326 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been given out to first responders, residents and staff of Alabama’s nursing homes and individuals 75 and older.  A total of 772,275 vaccines have been delivered to Alabama, meaning that 42 percent of what has already been delivered to the state have been administered.

“We have all been frustrated that the supply of vaccine coming from the federal government hasn’t kept up with the demand,” Governor Ivey said. “To be blunt, we simply haven’t gotten the vaccine that we’ve been promised, and this has created a major backlog of aggravation. Today’s announcement will ensure that as more vaccine is released, we will have a plan in place to get the vaccine in people’s arms more quickly.”

Covered in this expanded group are people at high risk for work-related exposure and persons in identified age groups at risk for COVID-19 associated morbidity and mortality. These include people working or living in congregate settings, including but not limited to homeless shelters and group homes.

Although the vaccine will be available to the new group, the ones already here are spoken for and Harris made it clear that there aren’t going to be enough.

Ivey said as a courtesy to others, healthier people age 65 and older and workers who fall in these new groups are encouraged to consider delaying their vaccination so that more vulnerable people can access the vaccine ahead of them.

The ADPH will also be doing drive-thru clinics across the state starting Feb. 8, with the closest of the eight locations being in the Birmingham area.

Harris said the goal is to distribute approximately 1,000 doses each day they are giving out the vaccine.

Drive-thru locations don’t require an appointment but are first come, first serve with limited doses, meaning they will go fast.

Places offering the vaccine in Shelby County by appointment when available are Shelby Baptist, the Shelby County Health Department, Main Street Family Care, Brooklere Pharmacy, Montevallo Family Medicine, Grandview Medical Center and Southern Family Health.

To schedule an appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccination at a county health department, individuals may call the ADPH COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Hotline at 1-855-566-5333.  For general information about COVID-19, the COVID-19 Information Hotline number is 1-800-270-7268. The vaccine providers can be found within the Alabama COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Dashboard at arcg.is/OrCey.

ADPH anticipates the release of a new online tool next week which will provide information about opportunities for vaccination, including drive-through clinics being scheduled throughout the state.

The Vaccine Allocation Plan is available at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19vaccine/assets/adph-covid19-vaccination-allocation-plan.pdf.

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