ALABAMA, USA —
The latest on COVID vaccines in Alabama:
As of January 18, 2020, vaccinations are being administered by appointment only and limited to health care workers, those in long-term care facilities, Alabama residents over age 75, and first responders.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris asks people to please not call the appointment hotline if they are not eligible.
Supplies of the vaccine are still limited statewide. It's important that if you get an appointment for a vaccine, you keep that appointment. Huntsville Hospital Senior Vice President of Operations, Tracy Doughty, said, "We know that the vaccines are in a super cold freezer. We have to unthaw them, so we're only unthawing the amount that we need, so we don't want to waste anything."
Huntsville Hospital's COVID-19 Community Vaccination Clinic is no longer holding COVID vaccine doses for second booster shots.
Officials believe they will continue getting shipments of vaccine, but there is a chance that some second dose appointments will be rescheduled.
The Alabama Department of Public Health will start removing vaccine from facilities that are not administering it in a timely manner.
Some of the challenges presented by the vaccination program are maintaining locations to vaccinate people and having the staff to give vaccines. In a news conference on Jan. 19, Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers explained that cold storage is required for the vaccine, there is paperwork that must be completed for each person vaccinated, and there is a 15 waiting period after the vaccine to watch for adverse reactions. While the 15 minute wait is not mandated and some states are not requiring this, Alabama is so that any adverse reactions can be treated quickly. These things slow the process of getting vaccines distributed.
How to make a COVID vaccine appointment:
The Alabama Department of Public Health said on Wednesday, January 13, that there are no remaining appointments available at county health departments, but you can still be placed on a waitlist.
The hotline can be reached at 1-800-270-7268. ADPH asks that you not call your local hospital.
Alabama Dept. of Public Health is working on a way for people to make vaccination appointments online.
Cullman Regional has a waitlist forming for their Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics. Click here to learn more and find registration form.
What vaccines does Alabama have?
As of January 14, 2021, Alabama is using both of the vaccines that received emergency use approval from the FDA. These are the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. It's important to remember that you can't "mix-and-match" vaccines. Your second dose needs to be the same vaccine as the first dose.
Keep up on vaccine and COVID information from Alabama Dept. of Public Health here:
More about the COVID vaccines: