Increasing demand for more COVID vaccination sites

Underserved areas not supplied with vaccines

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the country waits for the approval of a third COVID vaccine, many in Alabama are still waiting for their turn to get the shot.

Alabama has more than 400 vaccination providers, but some areas are left without.

A lot of people would like to have a vaccination site close to their home so they wouldn’t have to travel so far or out of their home county.

In Kimberly, they would like to have a vaccination site nearby. Take a look at a map and it shows there are no sites close to the city. The same is true in east and west Jefferson County.

“They would like to see easy access to the vaccine and a vaccination site and that is probably going to come at a later time,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmie Stephens.

The Alabama Department of Public Health would like to see more opportunities for people in underserved areas getting a chance at the COVID vaccine.

“Certainly we would like to have more sites available so people who have issues with transportation could have access and that is the goal as more supply becomes available,” said Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH.

Dr. Landers and other health leaders said it’s not the number of providers - it’s the amount of supply coming to Alabama.

“We have 66 county health departments and we have a county with no health department, but we have team members go over there and provide vaccine,” Landers said.

In Jefferson County, there is a move to try to reach the underserved areas.

“Certainly, to use churches as vaccine sites as well as recruit people from congregations for sign up,” said Dr. Mark Wilson with JCDH.

Other county leaders hope the latest approval of a new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will help.

“Hopefully with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, help will be on the way. It will be more widely distributed and put out in the communities,” Stephens said.

But Landers said despite the fact Johnson and Johnson will be single dose, getting to more people quicker, Alabama’s supply is expected to be limited at first.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.