Medical facilities in Central Alabama continue to struggle to get COVID-19 vaccine

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala.(WIAT) — Alabama Regional Medical Services has not received any COVID-19 vaccines at any of its five facilities in Birmingham.

As the state works to get more people vaccinated, for many, a big question is if certain communities are getting more of the vaccine than others.

In Jefferson County, Commissioner Shelia Tyson says it’s alarming that vaccine equity is even an issue. Tyson said the state did not have a plan when deciding which communities would receive the vaccine first. She also added that state health leaders are giving out the vaccine based on counties and not looking at cities and their COVID-19 infection rate.

Since Birmingham has a high infection rate, Tyson believes facilities like Regional Medical Services should have access to the vaccine.

We reached out to the CEO of the facility Anthony Gardner on the issue. Gardner said his facility was not made aware they had to enroll last September to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, so they did so at a later day. Despite this hurdle, Gardner said he hoped his facility would have access to the vaccine by now.

“Even if you are balancing the perception or the myth of some of the issues or reason why some of the African Americans are not getting vaccinated not having it there exasperates that process because you do have people obviously in the black community who want the vaccine,” Gardner said.

At this time, the facility does not know when they will be receiving a vaccine supply.

The Jefferson County Health Department will donate 400 vaccine doses to the Alabama Regional Medical Services to be given out on the first of March.

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