More eligible for COVID-19 vaccines

Phase 1 vaccination

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Another two million people in Alabama are now eligible to get vaccines against COVID. While this is great news, Alabama health leaders are still asking you to be patient to get your shot.

At the Cathedral of the Cross in Center Point it had their first full day of being the fourth UAB site to get vaccinations in Jefferson County. This will give more opportunities for people to get shots but again supplies are still not enough to meet the growing demand.

People lined up all day to get vaccinations at the Cathedral of the Cross in the Center Point area of Jefferson County. It’s hope is that this will help ease some of the demand.

Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Department of Health said a lot more people are eligible.

“We are starting to see a lot more traction as we see vaccine availability. We are seeing them at Wal-Mart pharmacies and CVS pharmacies, but we need more vaccines to come in,” Dr. Hicks said.

A number of groups are now eligible including those 55 years and older and those with disabilities. New essential workers in transportation, food services, banking and public safety, and also those with health concerns between the ages of 16 to 54.

”For example those with kidney disease, COPD, immune compromised situations, sickle cell, diabetes, smoking, obesity,” Hicks said.

With more healthcare providers helping to give eligible people shots, the vaccine is still not enough. Dr. Hicks urges people to be patient, make their reservations at appointment only sites. Hicks also warned those who get those shots to be mindful of possible side effects.

“You are going to feel something. That just tells you your immune system is working the way it is supposed to work. Nothing to be alarmed about or panic about. You are going to get some side effects but it is short term,” Hicks said.

Hicks is talking about soreness in the arm, fatigue and possibly a fever. If it’s prolonged contact your healthcare provider. All cases of side effects are being reported to the CDC. So far that is a low percentage of people getting shots. You can look for walk-up vaccinations sites on the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website.

Parker High School is one of the walk-up site.

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