Winter weather delays COVID-19 vaccinations

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MONTGOMERY, Ala (WIAT) — The winter weather hitting Alabama this week has shut down schools and businesses.  But it’s also shutting down, at least temporarily, COVID-19 vaccine efforts in some locations. 

“If you had an appointment on Monday by a county health department that was closed by weather, you can go on Saturday to that county health department at the same time you were supposed to go on Monday,” said Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama’s Health Officer.

But despite the inclement weather, Dr. Harris doesn’t expect any long-term delays and rescheduling for appointments.

“I know many of counites are trying to have longer hours, they are adding additional people on Saturday as.  We will try to get those shots made up as quickly as possible,” Dr. Harris said.

Even with delays due to the weather, Dr. Harris said health officials have learned from early mistakes in the vaccination process.

“There was a learning curve involved.  We were recruiting providers who had never given large scale vaccination before. It just took a little time to ramp that up and the holiday were thrown in there as well,” Dr. Harris said. 

Currently, Alabama is receiving about 70,000 first dose shipments per week from the federal government.  Dr. Harris says all those shots are being used.

“We’re getting it into arms as quickly as possible, the main problem is we just don’t have enough vaccine to go around,” Dr. Harris said.

Dr. Harris is also reminding Alabamians to continue wearing a mask and social distancing.  A state mask mandate is still in place through at least March 5.


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