BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Biden administration is stepping up its fight against the spread of COVID-19. The administration will be reallocating vaccines from low demand states to high demand states.
Alabama health leaders said they will need to see more information about the plan first. Alabama has received almost four million doses of COVID vaccines but it has given out only about 2.5 million, so the state could possibly be one of those states that loses vaccinations.
Alabama’s State Health Officer said the demand for vaccinations have dropped off in the last two weeks.
“We have seen somewhat of a decline for vaccine. What that means practically is Alabama has well over a million shots here in the state already. We are doing our best to get those out as quickly as possible,” Dr. Scott Harris said.
The state has not been informed if it will lose any vaccines but it is a concern. This is a statement from Governor Kay Ivey:
“Today, the federal government announced on the Governors’ only call with the White House that states with diminishing demand for vaccines may have their doses shifted to states with a higher demand. Y’all, we want shots in the arms and off the shelf. If you have not made it a priority to schedule a vaccine, I encourage you to go get the shot as soon as you are able. If you are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, please speak to a physician you trust and ask if he or she would recommend it for you. If we don’t use it, we could lose it. This is our ticket back to normal. The vaccine is free and could possibly save your life,” Ivey said.
The head of the Alabama Hospital Association is also concerned it could impact the state’s supply.
“You don’t want it to be reallocated to such an extent that you don’t have the vaccine to meet the demand. The devil is in the details,” Dr. Don Williamson said.
But, the head of the Jefferson County Department of Health is not worried just yet.
“So right now we have plenty of vaccine in Alabama so I’m not really worried about the supply,” Dr. Mark Wilson said.
President Biden hopes to see 70% of all Americans with at least one shot by July 4th. Alabama only has about 32% with one shot. The state continues to move to get more people shots by providing information and appealing to their personal doctors.
“We hope people will reach to their own patients and encourage them to get vaccinated. It’s still a little early to say how effective that is going to be,” Harris said.
The shift here by the Biden administration to move away from giving out vaccines based solely on the state’s population. The administration is also moving away from large vaccination sites to more mobile community based clinics.