Alabamians eligible to get coronavirus vaccine may have to wait a while to get appointments

'I think the biggest challenge still remains ensuring that we have enough providers to give the vaccine to persons who qualify.'

Posted: Jan 12, 2021 9:03 PM
Updated: Jan 12, 2021 9:23 PM

If you are 65 years and older, you are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Those 64 and younger with underlying health concerns are eligible as well, the U.S. Department of Public Health announced.

Even though more people are now eligible to receive the vaccine, it doesn't mean they will be able to right away.

The whole country is seeing a big change in who's eligible to receive the vaccine, but the change we're not seeing in North Alabama is the shortage of health care workers who can give the vaccine to people.

For months, we've been told hospitals are facing a nursing shortage. So, even though we now have two COVID-19 vaccines, and more people eligible to receive the vaccines, we are still facing the problem of not enough health care workers to administer it.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said they will still have difficulties administering the vaccine to everyone eligible, even once they update the state's vaccine distribution plan.

“I think the biggest challenge still remains ensuring that we have enough providers to give the vaccine to persons who qualify," said Landers. "Keep in mind, the Alabama Department of Public Health, again, is not able to give everyone a vaccine in the state of Alabama for COVID-19. We just don’t have the staff to be able to do that.”

Landers said expanding the number of locations where the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered will help this problem some.

She said people who are young and overall, pretty healthy, but have asthma or other less severe underlying health conditions, won't be the first to get an appointment once the state updates its distribution plans.

The state will still look at an individual's risk factor when determining who can get the vaccine first. Landers said frontline workers and people 75 years and older will still be at a higher priority to get vaccinated.

She said ADPH is waiting to receive guidance on the new distribution plans.

“We have to be aware that there still will be a supply and demand issue here, and we want to be able to cover as many persons as possible, but also ensure that we look at the risk in context of the overall picture," said Landers. "In other words, persons who have multiple co-morbidities and are closer to 65 years of age, versus a person who is otherwise healthy but has a co-morbidity.”

Landers said she doesn't know when they will have the new distribution plans, but they hope it's soon.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 701847

Reported Deaths: 8777
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby779711168
Davidson72385688
Knox39701432
Hamilton35466337
Rutherford33860294
Unassigned23587134
Williamson21906144
Sumner18644232
Out of TN1615282
Montgomery14979149
Wilson14728164
Sullivan12893218
Blount12267132
Washington12102203
Maury11179128
Bradley1108895
Sevier10704120
Putnam10116151
Madison9273183
Robertson782687
Hamblen7172117
Anderson6947114
Greene6719115
Tipton632969
Gibson5733114
Coffee573282
Dickson552682
Cumberland550576
Bedford540391
Roane530081
Lawrence518869
Carter5171115
McMinn516774
Warren504454
Loudon503550
Jefferson490178
Dyer483386
Monroe467063
Hawkins455272
Franklin420065
Fayette408751
Obion404582
Rhea388457
Lincoln385546
Marshall353338
Cocke352758
Cheatham347331
Weakley344248
Henderson336559
Campbell334940
Giles330574
Carroll315860
White315144
Hardeman314054
Hardin304250
Lauderdale296933
Macon293251
Wayne267424
Henry266958
Overton258846
DeKalb246342
McNairy245442
Haywood243747
Smith234230
Marion233932
Trousdale230315
Scott228832
Hickman227835
Claiborne224932
Fentress215734
Grainger214339
Johnson204634
Morgan193916
Crockett182438
Chester177439
Bledsoe177011
Unicoi169545
Cannon160320
Lake157821
Decatur148628
Polk147817
Union143225
Grundy142622
Sequatchie140319
Humphreys136717
Benton133435
Lewis130121
Meigs117616
Stewart109620
Jackson105723
Perry95825
Clay95426
Houston94624
Moore8299
Pickett69020
Van Buren6737
Hancock4177

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