Alabama may be close to opening up additional eligibility for COVID vaccinations

When will Ala. lower the age to get COVID vaccine?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - By next week, all of the states surrounding Alabama will be opening up their COVID vaccinations to everyone 16 and older. But what about Alabama?

Even State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris admitted Alabama was slow out of the gate with vaccinations in December and January. But now, Harris and other health leaders are optimistic that is going to change.

President Biden announced he expects by April 19, 90% of all Americans will be eligible to get vaccinated.

“90% of all adults 18 and older will be eligible to get. 90% of all Americans will be living within five miles of where they can get a shot,” President Biden said.

Scott Harris said vaccinations are going far better in the state than at the beginning.

“We are in a good position. Our vaccine supply has increased more than we have ever seen before. We are going to have vaccine providers out to all of those fully enrolled,” Harris said.

Harris said for the first time this week over 700 healthcare providers will be getting vaccine supplies. The state is getting between 110,000-120,000 doses a week.

“Production of the vaccine is beginning to stabilize. They are figuring out how to do it quickly, efficiently, and safely,” Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said.

So when will Alabama see more people getting a chance to get shots into their arms?

“I think the governor is going to be saying something about that very soon. We are going to be opening up before the May 1st date set by the president,” Harris said.

According to the CDC, nationally 28% of the population has gotten at least one shot. In Alabama, it’s closer to 23%. Nationally fully vaccinated comes in at almost 16%. In Alabama, its about 13%, ranking the state 48th in the nation.

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