Some counties struggling to keep up with state vaccine phase

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — President Joe Biden is pushing for COVID-19 vaccines to be available to everyone by May 1. In Alabama, the likelihood of that happening may depend on where you live.

In some parts of the state, vaccines are now available to anyone and everyone. In other parts, appointments are nearly non-existent.

Through the state health department’s COVID vaccine website, Etowah County does not have an appointment opening for weeks.

“We’re hoping to maybe be able to have another clinic by the end of April,” said Breonna Cole with the Gadsden Etowah County EMA. “But we’re still kind of sitting tight and waiting to hear when that next shipment will be.”

In contrast, Hale County is working hard to put their doses to use before it expires.

“We’re not turning anyone away that wants the vaccine,” said Russell Weeden, the Hale County EMA director.

Weeden said most people now getting vaccinated aren’t local.

“A lot of the people we are seeing now are from out of the county,” he said. “Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, coming down.”

Hale County is ahead of the state’s vaccine stage. Weeden said before each shipment of vaccine are sent to the counties, the state asks for feedback on administration. Weeden said he doubts they’ll receive as many doses in their next shipment.

“We feel we’ve pretty much covered the county, so anyone that wants to come, we’ll give them out until they’re all gone,” said Weeden.

But in Etowah County–they are just waiting on the next shipment to arrive.

“That is a big concern, and we’re unsure of how many, if we get some at the end of April, that may be,” said Cole.

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