There are ‘weeks’ left before COVID vaccine is offered to all Alabamians over 75



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While some counties in Alabama have already started offering the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone over 75, it will likely be weeks before this happens statewide, according to the Department of Health. public of Alabama.

ADHD’s Dr Karen Landers said on Thursday that the state is making a “smooth transition” from phase 1a of the state’s vaccine allocation plan to phase 1b, but it may take -be still weeks before the state as a whole is ready to take this step.

Phase 1a focuses on delivering the vaccine to frontline healthcare workers, residents and nursing home staff. Phase 1b includes people over 75, law enforcement, firefighters and teachers and other education workers. Landers said these Phase 1b groups include more than 300,000 Alabamians and the state just doesn’t have enough vaccines to make that happen.

“We certainly know that the supply will be less than the demand for the vaccine,” Landers said Thursday in an interview with AL.com.

Landers said most states were working to distribute the vaccine to more healthcare workers before opening the process to additional groups, although some offered the vaccine to those over 75. , or the police and firefighters.

In Etowah County, a scheduled drive-thru vaccination clinic ran out of doses in less than three hours, after lining up a mile-long line in Gadsden. In Calhoun County, the health department offered the vaccine to people over 75 in Anniston starting Tuesday, also causing long lines. In Madison County, sheriff’s deputies began receiving the vaccine earlier this week.

“Each county or region can be in a different phase,” Landers said. “There are counties that, due to the saturation of the vaccination rate, have been able to start vaccinating some people aged 75 and over, as well as our law enforcement and firefighters.

“So I anticipate that we will have a smooth transition to this group of people, and over the next two weeks we will continue to grow in this category.”

Landers said there could also be smaller cases where the vaccine is offered to people lower on the list so the state does not waste doses of the vaccine that have already been thawed for distribution.

“Our commitment is not to lose a dose of vaccine in the state of Alabama,” Landers said. “We want to make sure that each dose is used appropriately for patients.”

But she said it could be the spring before people beyond phase 1b can start receiving the vaccine.

“I think right now, given the supply we have, we’re really looking into the spring before we can really start to see a lot of expansion,” she says.

The full interview with Dr Landers is integrated below:

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