HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama’s Department of Public Health is opening COVID-19 vaccines for more medical professionals.
For the first time in a long time, Stacey Evans, the team lead at Shoal Creek Dental and a 32-year veteran of the industry, is breathing a sigh of relief. “Relieved. How am I literally feeling? My arm is sore. It is like the beginning of something normal is to emerge.”
The state COVID vaccine plan has evolved over time, but frontline medical workers, like hospital staff at high risk of exposure, were the first to receive the vaccine in Alabama. “It was sometime in November I started calling our local health department, they were very gracious and very compassionate but said, ‘Guess what? You are not listed on here. Even though you are Tier 1-A you are not listed specifically,’.”
Last week the ADPH opened vaccine distribution to more medical professionals, including dental staff. According to the American Dental Association less than 1% of dentists nationwide have had COVID-19.
Evans said that’s because of careful safety measures. “We wore ourselves out wiping everything down, spray the air with a fogger, use the ozone cleaners and those sort of things... it’s been intense.”
Evans is thankful the Alabama Department of Public Health opened the opportunity to more health professionals. But she is still looking forward to the day when, no matter what your job title is, anybody can receive a vaccine.
“I definitely feel grateful, but I want to be humble about it. Because everybody counts. We are all out there, we are all doing something significant. You don’t realize how important each other is until that teacher is not there or maybe the mailman doesn’t run... it takes all of us for sure.”