BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public of Health is expanding the vaccine distribution criteria, now allowing people 75 years or older to get the shot on January 18th.
Dr. Karen Landers with the state health department said we are still actively in phase 1A of the distribution plan, but she said phases are fluid and can be re-evaluated.
Dr. Landers said the state is still working to vaccinate all health care workers and nursing home residents, but they are adding more vulnerable populations to phase 1a based on their risk of catching the virus, high levels of community transmission right now, and vaccine supply.
The state said this is a way to prevent any loss of vaccines because of cold chain storage requirements. Both vaccines can last up to six months frozen. But once thawed, Pfizer’s can be kept in a refrigerator for five days and Moderna’s for 30 days.
Dr. Landers called this a soft transition and said the state is evaluating regularly to allow more people to get vaccinated.
“Any plan has to be fluid,” Dr. Landers said. “Again, given the supply of vaccines that we have at the moment, which is certainly less than the demand, we will continue to review and adjust accordingly.”
Dr. Landers said more than 300,000 people now qualify in the 75 years or older category.