BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Public Health reports over 130,000 vaccinations have been administered so far. Even after the CDC updated vaccine information, Alabama still ranks low in distribution compared to neighboring states.
Health leaders across the state, like Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers, say they are doing everything they can to obtain more doses and get the people of Alabama vaccinated.
“The goal is to get the vaccine in arms. We have to be able to account for it so we can get more vaccines,” Dr. Landers said.
Dr. Landers says there were reporting issues with the CDC that have been fixed, however, they are still in short supply of the vaccine.
“All vaccine does not come to the health department. Only the vaccine that the health department orders for administration,” Dr. Landers said.
She says the state health department needs more staff members to help administer the vaccine. She also states part of the reason why Alabama is in short supply is the federal government has not delivered some doses to the state.
“And be aware that everyone has to take two doses of vaccine with this product. So, it does make people realize we don’t have as much vaccine as we need to be able to expand to additional groups,” Dr. Landers said.
Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson says they are ready to vaccinate people 75 or older in the county.
“You know, it’s really nice to be doing something that’s moving us in the right direction and heading us toward getting out of this terrible pandemic,” Dr. Wilson said.
Dr. Wilson says each vaccination phase will take some time.
“It’s a huge challenge to get hundreds of thousands of people vaccinated in a few months’ time,” Dr. Wilson said.
Though vaccination supply and rates aren’t exactly ideal, Dr. Wilson believes it will improve soon.
“So while we had a slow start, I think we will start to see it ramp up. And we will see more and more opportunities for people to get vaccinated across the state and it will get better,” Dr. Wilson said.
Beginning Monday, the Jefferson County Health Department will be vaccinating people 75 years or older.