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Drew: Alabama’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out

By Samuetta Drew

Last week Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announced that beginning Friday, Feb. 8, 2021 individuals ages 65 years and older will be eligible to receive the two-federal authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Also included in the expansion of COVID-19 eligible persons were an additional group of frontline workers. To help determine if you fall under the frontline workers included in the Alabama Department of Public Health Plan for vaccination, a list of the different groups is provided below:
•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.
Also included in the expanded ADPH groups 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 limited to homeless shelters and group homes.”
The ADPH states the additional priority groups will add over one million people who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in our state. The ADPH further states “while just under two million people will qualify to receive the vaccine, the state continues to only receive around 100,000 doses each week.”
Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer, said, “Alabama is expanding its guidance despite the limited vaccine in order to accelerate the vaccine in our state” and that the “remaining vaccines that have not been administered are either someone’s first dose and they are waiting on their second appointment. … Any vaccine currently in the state has someone’s name on it.”
To help Keep an Eye on Safety during this pandemic, you can schedule an appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccination at a county health department or call ADPH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1.855.566.5333. Also arcg.is/OrCey is a site which lists other vaccine providers. Additional sites are being considered which will include drive-through clinics. Several are being considered in the Jefferson County/Birmingham Area.