Alabama Begins Vaccinating First Responders And Those 75 & Older


UPDATE: The volume of calls has overloaded the vaccine hotline. The Governor says they're now looking into an online portal as well.

In the meantime, the Governor says if you get a busy signal, try again later.

IMPORTANT INFO FROM MOBILE COUNTY HEALTH DEPT:

Please do not call your local hospital directly to set up appointments to be scheduled to receive your COVID-19 vaccine. 

We have learned that hospital switchboards are being overwhelmed with phone calls, which is creating an obstacle to patient care. Hospitals throughout Alabama are overwhelmed in providing care to both COVID-19 patients as well as responding to all other medical needs of our citizens.

While hospitals in a few areas of the state have begun vaccinating those 75 years of age and older, most are still working to make sure their frontline workers are vaccinated. Additional information will be provided when hospitals and locations other than county health departments have vaccine available for additional groups.

MONTGOMERY– Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Friday announced that ADPH will provide COVID-19 vaccinations for people 75 years old or older, as well as first responders, including law enforcement and firefighters, statewide by appointment only effective January 18. Appointments at locations throughout the state are made first come, first served. The addition of these groups is not a full expansion into the next phase of the vaccine rollout.

“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,” Governor Ivey said. “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. 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.”

Alabama continues to vaccinate more than 326,000 health care workers and nursing home residents who are most at-risk of contracting COVID-19. As the vaccine uptake for this category is satisfied, ADPH is now encouraging sites to vaccinate persons in the 75-plus age group and those in the law enforcement and firefighter vocations in order to prevent any loss of vaccine due to cold chain storage requirements.

“We recognize that demand for vaccine exceeds supply,” said 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 a.m. until 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Vaccination locations can be viewed at this link,https://go.usa.gov/xARKpand 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.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, visithttps://go.usa.gov/xARKE.

(Photo: Getty Images)


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