THE SHOALS, Ala. (WAFF) - In just two days, Alabama health officials will transition to the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.
This means a lot more of you will be qualified to roll up your sleeve, and get the shot.
Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Health said that Lauderdale and Colbert counties have vaccinated over 20 percent of their populations.
This is a big accomplishment that less than one third of Alabama counties have achieved.
She’s hoping with phase 1C opening on Monday, the population percentages will increase.
“It means so much to have a vaccinated population and we do know that we will need to have a much higher percent of persons vaccinated,” said Dr. Karen Landers.
The demand, however, still outweighs the supply so what does it take in order to get shots in more people’s arms?
“Alabama gets about 1.4 percent of the nationwide vaccine supply. So it’s really production. So if the manufacturer provides more vaccine then obviously the federal government can access that vaccine,” said Dr. Landers.
She said statewide they receive between 110 and 120 thousand doses a week, which isn’t a lot, but they’re doing what they can In order to continue to increase access to vaccinations.
This Monday, with the next phase starting, if you’re 55 and older, a critical worker, or 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions you can get the shot.
“At this point, we’re carrying out a number of efforts statewide. Of course, as you know, the National Guard will be vaccinating in some of our Black belt counties and some of our southern counties in the state of Alabama starting on March 22nd and then, on March 29th, there will be some mass vaccine clinics. There actually will be a vaccine effort here in Northwest Alabama. The logistics are still being worked on,” said Dr. Landers.
As far as the federal guidelines for every American having access to the vaccine by May 1st, that also boils down to the amount of vaccines the state receives.
“We do hope by the first of May if our vaccine supply increases that we will be able to open up to all Alabamians who want to take this vaccine,” said Dr. Landers.
Dr. Landers encourages you to take the first vaccine that’s available to you when you’re eligible.
She also said that some of the hesitancy behind getting the vaccine to people who are eligible is that many people don’t know that the vaccine is free.
Now that you know it is free, don’t let that stop you.