As of today, the state of Alabama has made the COVID-19 vaccine available to more than half of the state’s adult population, and could open the floodgates to offer the vaccine to all adults in the coming weeks.
Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris on Friday said that “probably between half and two thirds,” of the state’s adult population would be eligible for the vaccine as of today.
“We think that’s going to more than double the number of eligible people in our state,” Harris said Friday. “Probably between half and two thirds of all the adults in the state are going to be covered at that point, so that will be a significant increase in demand.”
The following groups of people are now eligible for the vaccine statewide:
- Any Alabamian age 55 and older
- Several categories of essential workers (health care, first responders, educators and childcare workers, food workers, legal, energy, media, others)
Also eligible are Alabamians over age 16 with certain health conditions that put them at a higher risk from COVID-19. Those conditions include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; immunocompromised state
- Solid organ transplant
- Obesity, BMI greater than 30
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 1 and 2 diabetes
- Other medical conditions as determined by your medical provider
In addition, Alabama veterans of any age can receive the vaccine through some VA hospitals.
All the groups identified as a priority under Alabama’s vaccine allocation plan are now officially eligible to receive the vaccine. The next phase of the plan will open it up to all Alabamians age 16 and older.
Harris said Friday that Alabama would offer the vaccine to the general population before a May 1 deadline set by President Joe Biden, and “it could be much earlier.”
Mississippi and Alaska already offer the vaccine to all adults, and other states including Nevada, Connecticut, Ohio, Utah and North Dakota have already announced plans to do so in the coming weeks.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Alabama has given more than 1.4 million doses of vaccine as of Monday morning. The CDC reported more than 967,000 Alabamians — 25.4 percent of the state’s adult population — have received at least one dose of vaccine. More than 566,000 Alabamians have received their full course of vaccination.
There are currently three COVID vaccine options that have been granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second dose, administered weeks after the first, but reported better overall efficacy results in clinical trials than the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The vaccine has not yet been approved for children, so only those 16 and older are eligible. Studies are ongoing to determine the vaccines’ safety and efficacy in people younger than 16.
All three vaccines were highly effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19, including hospitalizations and deaths.
COVID-19 has killed more than 10,400 Alabamians and more than 539,000 people in the United States.
Alabama COVID vaccine: Most adults now eligible – AL.com