BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As states make plans to roll out the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala. is gearing up to be one of the administrators.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said 15 hospitals in the state have been identified as able to meet the storage requirements for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. ADPH has not yet released a list of those hospitals.

However, UAB is one of the states who will administer the drug, according to Dr. Mark Wilson. Wilson says UAB will be the only hospital in Jefferson County to administer the Pfizer vaccine.

While Wilson said the news of a vaccine is promising, it is no reason to let your guard down.

“We’re just getting over 10,000 vaccines in that initial shipment,” Wilson said. “That’s a very very small drop in the bucket compared to our overall population.”

When asked if the governor’s extension of her safer at home order was enough when the state is seeing an unprecedented number of COVID-19 cases, Wilson said he’s glad the state is not taking any steps backward.

“Well, I’m really glad that there were no steps taken backward, especially the face mask order,” Wilson said.

UAB says they are expecting to receive the vaccines from ADPH next week. ADPH will be managing vaccine distribution to hospitals.

Alabama has seen nearly 4,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began. During Wednesday’s media briefing, Dr. Scott Harris gave a sobering comparison to how many lives have been lost.

“If you had a 747 crash every month for the last ten months, that’s about how many people we’ve lost in the past ten months in our state,” Harris said.