Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday that people 16 years old and up will become eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine starting Monday, April 5.
“I have committed to the people of Alabama that we are on a path forward, and while there is more work to be done, I remain hopeful and optimistic in where we are going. Recent findings from the CDC show preliminary data suggesting that vaccinated individuals do not appear to be spreading the virus, so that is hopeful, underscores the effectiveness of the vaccine and is yet another reason to get the shot,” Ivey said in a news release.
“Truly, this vaccine is our ticket back to normal life. We are so close to getting COVID-19 in the rearview, and until then, we should all keep wearing our masks, get vaccinated and use the common sense the good Lord gave us.”
People getting vaccinated at John Hunt Park had mixed feelings about those 16 year old and up getting the vaccine. Some people argued that those with underlying medical conditions are still waiting on Huntsville Hospital's waiting list. That waiting list is close to 60-thousand people long.
Others said it's good the state has expanded its eligibility to all adults. Some people have waited two weeks to a month long for the hospital to call them and schedule their appointment..
"I think we're suppose to be getting more doses anyways," said Todd Swfit, a vaccine recipient. "Pfizer is suppose to be coming out with more, Johnson and Johnson is suppose to be delivering more."
15 year old Sabrina Collins will be 16 years old in just a month. She said she plans on getting the vaccine as soon as she can.
"I'm excited to hopefully get back into school by hopefully the beginning of September," said Collins.
College students will also be eligible for the vaccine. University of Alabama Huntsville student, Josh Reynolds, said after having the virus, he will definitely be getting the coronavirs vaccine.
"When I had it a few months ago, I had a horrible migraine, said Reynolds. "Fever, chills, all of that."
Reynolds said it was the sickest he has ever felt.
"Definitely will be good to know that I won't have to go through that again," said Reynolds.
The Pfizer vaccine is available to individuals age 16 and up, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are both available to individuals 18 years of age and older.
With this expansion, there will be close to 4 million eligible individuals in the state of Alabama. Currently, the state receives approximately 115,000 first doses each week.
"In the initial phases of our vaccine allocation plan, we have given just over 1.7 million shots. These shots have gone to more than 1.1 million Alabamians most at risk of illness and death due to COVID-19,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said in the news release.
“As progress has been made, equitable vaccine distribution has been and remains a driving force in immunizing state residents. The increased supply of safe and effective vaccines means all adults who wish to be vaccinated are now eligible to receive the protection vaccines offer."
As of April 1, 1,724,463 doses have been administered, the release said.