With a week of COVID-19 vaccinations in the books so far, health departments in both Alabama and Tennessee are looking at how they can keep the public informed about the rollout of their allotted doses.
On Friday, Tennessee launched its vaccine dashboard and pledged that it would be updated every Tuesday and Friday.
Its dashboard gives the total number of vaccines reported along with those reported in the last day. Recipients of the vaccine are broken down by age group, race, ethnicity and gender.
As for geographic data, a state map shows the percentage of each county’s population that has received the vaccine along with whether the vaccine was administered a Department of Health facility or through another provider, like a hospital or pharmacy.
Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said the state is in discussions right now about what Alabama’s dashboard will look like.
“Certainly, numbers of vaccine. Age demographics would be very useful as a part of that. Racial and ethnic background, I mean those are always some concerns that people have. Potentially, information about the general information related to the parts of the state that are being vaccinated, urban vs rural,” Dr. Landers said.
She said the state could make a determination about its vaccine dashboard “within the next couple of weeks, if not before.”
On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offered Emergency Use Authorization for Moderna’s vaccine. Dr. Landers said they could potentially include information that shows the number of people vaccinated through Pfizer separately from Moderna at the onset.
“It is very likely that we could, at least initially, parse out some information related to product. But again, I think the overall message really should be the number of vaccine doses being given, rather than specific products,” Dr. Landers said.
As of Friday, Alabama administered 4,489 vaccines. The state was originally supposed to receive 48,750 doses next week, but they said that number was reduced to 29,250.
“We do not know why there was a decrease in the allocation, but we expect to find out at some point in the future,” Dr. Landers said.
WAAY 31 reached out to Pfizer to see why there was a reduction and a spokesperson said on Friday that those with Operation Warp Speed handle all issues related to vaccine allocation.
In a press release on Thursday, the company issued the following statement:
“Pfizer is not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed. This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.”
WAAY 31 also reached out to OWS, but did not hear back as of publication of this story.