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How are COVID-19 vaccine distributions going in rural counties?

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 7:43 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - COVID-19 vaccines have been in Alabama for a little more than three weeks now.

The daunting task of vaccinating the entire nation is underway, but that may be more difficult for rural areas.

Ultra-cold storage requirements and shipping rules meant many rural counties couldn’t receive the Pfizer vaccine.

But that all changed once Moderna received Emergency Use Authorization - now all Alabama counties have a vaccine.

District Medical Officer for ADPH, Dr. Karen Landers, said vaccinations are going well in rural counties.

She said they are primarily using the Moderna vaccine, and in some cases, upwards of 150 shots are given per day.

“Thankfully, we have a product that we can use and of course providers in rural counties at the moment are… there are hospitals in rural counties that are vaccinating their health care workers, as well as first responders and other persons in the healthcare community, and then also local county health departments that are vaccinating,” Dr. Landers said.

She said there will be a soft transition to other phases of the vaccination schedule as some counties are moving through phase one faster than others.

“I think the transition will not be that one day we’re doing 1A and the next day we’re doing 1B, but rather each county will progress into the next phase as the allocation and the delivery of vaccine the supply is there to be able to cover the population,” Dr. Landers explained.

COVID-19 vaccines are available in all Alabama counties now and Dr. Landers said that’s useful information to ensure people are appropriately vaccinated according to the state’s allocation plan.

We tried reaching out to officials in Blount, Chilton, and Walker counties Thursday to get more specific county information, but we have not heard back from them.

ADPH said it will soon provide a list of providers that have COVID-19 vaccine.

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