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Some unused vaccine doses in AL could expire soon

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 11:01 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Not that long ago, the state struggled to get enough vaccine to meet demand. Now there’s over a million doses just waiting to be used. Some of the doses could go to other states if we don’t use them.

Over 4.1 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been delivered to Alabama. Over 2.7 million have gone into arms. That means around 1.3 million haven’t been used. The state has until June to use some of the doses before they expire or risk losing them.

“If Alabama does not increase its uptake of vaccine, then this vaccine can go to other states that are higher performing in terms of being able to administer the vaccine,” Dr. Karen Landers, deputy health officer with the Alabama Department of Public Health said.

Dr. Landers says we do have the potential to give out what we currently have. Many are two dose vaccines. State leaders continue to urge people to get protected. They say this shot is our shot to get back to normal.

“We have vaccine on every corner right now in the state of Alabama. It’s just a matter of people coming out, taking the opportunity to protect themselves against this deadly virus,” Lander said.

Health leaders understand some people are hesitant to get a shot, but they are asking you to talk to doctors you trust to see if they would recommend it for you.

About 41% of adults in Alabama have received at least one dose of the vaccine according to the Kasier Family Foundation. That puts the state at the bottom for vaccination rates.

For weeks, Alabama has ranked at the bottom or near the bottom for vaccinations. State health leaders recognize that not everyone is going to get a shot, but they say we need a much higher rate.

Over the past few weeks, there’s been a push to try and get more shots into arms. The state even enlisting help from Nick Saban, Charles Barkley and others to encourage more people to get the vaccine.

Landers tells us while Covid cases remain low, the numbers could creep back up. That’s why she and others can’t say it enough, get a shot to protect yourself and others.

“Let’s do this now while our numbers do appear to be low in terms of disease transmission. Let’s take every opportunity to fully vaccinate so we can have a more normal fall and winter,” Landers said.

With the vaccination rate being so low in the state, health experts say it could mean we could see future outbreaks if vaccination numbers don’t go up.

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