MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is asking those who do not qualify to schedule a vaccine at this time to stop calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Hotline.
ADPH says the hotline has received over 1.1 million calls in the first day of being open to the public. The line continues to get an “overwhelming amount of calls.”
“Due to the overwhelming amount of calls, our target population cannot get through to schedule their appointments,” ADPH says
Telephone switchboards at hospitals across the state are being overwhelmed by people asking about appointments to get the vaccine. ADPH says these hospitals are not the place to call, and, in doing so, callers are “creating an obstacle to patient care.”
Starting on Jan. 18, Alabama will give vaccinations to residents who are 75 or older, as well as first responders, including law enforcement and firefighters. These are the only groups added to new vaccine availability group.
The new group would qualify about 350,000 more people for the vaccine. ADPH cautioned the additional number of people who can get the vaccine is not a full expansion into the next phase of the vaccine rollout yet.
ADPH says appointments will be at locations around the state on a first come, first served basis.
To schedule an appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccination at a county health department, call the ADPH toll-free phone number at 1-855-566-5333 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. any day of the week. ADPH says additional information will be provided when hospitals and locations other than county health departments have vaccines available for additional groups.
In central Alabama, the following hospitals and clinics have released information about getting a vaccine:
- MainStreet Family Care: Starting Jan. 18, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to frontline healthcare workers, first responders, and patients 75 and older. Detailed vaccination criteria can be found at www.mainstreetfamilycare.com/covid-19-vaccine. MainStreet’s contactless registration system allows eligible patients in need of a vaccine to pre-register online at www.mainstreeetfamilycare.com/online-registration.
- Jackson Hospital has begun online pre-registration for community members 75 years of age or older to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. In conjunction with the Alabama Department of Public Health, Jackson Hospital will begin scheduling appointments for those interested in receiving a vaccination later this month. Community members 75 years of age or older can visit www.jackson.org to pre-register. Pre-registration does not register nor guarantee a COVID-19 vaccination. A staff member from The Jackson Clinic will begin contacting those interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccination after Monday, January 18, 2021 to schedule an appointment.
- Other current and future vaccination locations can be viewed at this link, https://go.usa.gov/xARKp.
The state continues to vaccinate health care workers and nursing home residents who are most at-risk of contracting COVID-19. According to ADPH, as the vaccine uptake for this category is satisfied, it’s now encouraging sites to vaccinate those above 75, as well as law enforcement and firefighters.
Additional information, such as what to bring and what to wear, will be provided when appointments are made.