BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is expecting to see healthcare providers around the state face increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines.
Starting Monday, all residents of the state 16 and older are now eligible to receive the vaccination.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Friday that will open the door for about 4 million people in Alabama. That’s a tall order to meet and provide those shots.
Harris has said some of those numbers will be overlaps. They will have already had shots after falling into essential worker categories. But, the health department does expect there will be increased demand for appointments and growing frustration to get those appointments.
The Alabama National Guard will resume work Tuesday to offer walk-up vaccinations in rural, mostly south Alabama counties.
The Jefferson County Department of Health expects to get a better understanding of the demand after Monday and checking with their healthcare providers offering those shots.
“Right now, there should be no excuse for anyone moving forward because there is a lot of vaccine coming in and a lot of vaccine points coming in and we are going to be making an announcement soon about additional vaccine sites locations,” said Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Department of Health.
This week, the state of Alabama will receive its largest shipment of vaccine ever - 160,000 doses. The state will also have enough vaccine to give out to 700 healthcare providers on top of the Federal Pharmacy Program, which gets a direct supply from the federal government.
Still, frustration is expected. Health leaders ask you to be patient. Continue to look for and make appointments or go to one of those National Guard walk-up sites.