COVID-19 Update Alabama Department of Public Health February 3, 2021

Getting COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of Alabamians as quickly as possible is our goal. ADPH is conducting clinics daily, including drive-though clinics in some counties. Limited vaccine remains the greatest challenge in Alabama and other states.

COVID-19 Cases—465,056
COVID-19 Deaths—8,203
COVID-19 Hospitalizations (as of February 2)—42,575
Beginning February 8, vaccine eligibility will expand to include phase 1b and people 65 years and older. The Alabama COVID-19 Vaccination Allocation Plan outlines the various phases, and is available here:
Currently eligible for vaccine—326,000 healthcare providers, nursing home residents, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and 350,000 persons age 75+
Average 1stDoses of Vaccine Shipped to Alabama Per Week—60,000 to 70,000
Anticipated vaccine allotment for week of February 8:
Moderna – 1st dose 44,100 / 2nd dose 30,600 – Pfizer 1st dose 30,225 / 2nd dose 30,225  
Vaccine Doses Administered—392,624

Federal Pharmacy Program to Begin Soon
The federal government has partnered with 21 national pharmacy chains and independent networks to help administer COVID-19 vaccine in communities across the United States as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. The program will be implemented incrementally, based on the available supply of COVID-19 vaccines. As part of this initial phase, select Wal-Mart locations throughout Alabama will receive a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine directly from the federal government to vaccinate eligible individuals in their communities. The locations are being finalized and we anticipate having more information to announce soon.      

COVID-19 Percent Positive
The percent positive is a critical measure because it indicates how widespread COVID-19 infection is in the area where the testing is occurring. During the week of January 2, Alabama’s percent positive was 20.1. During the week of January 23, Alabama’s percent positive was 13.1.

ADPH Encourages People to Avoid Super Bowl Parties
ADPH joins Dr. Anthony Fauci and others in warning people not to host or attend Super Bowl parties with people outside their households. When people follow tradition and gather with friends and family, increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths follow. Please stay at home this Sunday to help avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
Johnson & Johnson is expected to send an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for their single-shot COVID-19 vaccine in the near future.

Vaccination Eligibility Check and Scheduling Portal
The COVID-19 Vaccination Eligibility Check and Scheduling Portal is available at www.alcovidvaccine.gov. The portal allows people to schedule available vaccine appointments, access a map of drive-through and walk-in locations, and sign up to be notified as new priority groups are available to receive vaccine. Appointments may not be available immediately at this time, as ADPH continues to be limited by the amount of vaccine provided by the federal government. Access to appointments will grow as supply from the federal government increases.

Current Assessment of Vaccine Supply
Current assessment of vaccine supply and expectations for shipments over the next month indicate that many public health clinics will have to focus heavily on providing second doses for the month of February. Individuals are encouraged to visit drive-through and walk-in clinics, or other vaccine providers, if appointments are not currently available at a county health department location.

Large Scale Drive-Through Clinics in 8 Alabama Locations
Beginning the week of February 8, there will be 8 large scale drive-through clinics throughout the state. Clinics will be located in Anniston, Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Selma, and Tuscaloosa. The goal is for each location to be able to give 1,000 vaccines per day that week, totaling 40,000 doses administered.  Additional information will be provided about the location in each city.    

Vaccine Distribution Plans Adjusted  
We have had an extensive plan in place to administer COVID-19 vaccine statewide since October. The plan must pivot based on priorities from the federal government. Adjustments needed to be made to offer vaccine first to those at highest risk because of the small quantity of vaccine.

Accelerating Pace of Vaccine Rollout
Healthcare provider surveys will help ensure vaccine administration is expedited. ADPH is surveying every healthcare provider in the state to ensure that all administered doses of  COVID-19 vaccine have been properly reported in our electronic data system and to determine if there is any available vaccine that needs to be redistributed to other providers. To expedite vaccine administration, ADPH is removing unused doses and redistributing the vaccine to providers who will give shots faster. No vaccine doses have been discarded-4,000 doses have currently been identified and are in the process of being relocated.
Vaccine Doses Delivered to Alabama—808,925
Alabama Healthcare Providers Enrolled—883
Toll-free Telephone Lines for Appointments—150

Expansion of age groups for vaccination to persons 65 and above
At the final Operation Warp Speed briefing on January 12, 2021, spokespersons for HHS recommended that states expand age groups for vaccination to persons 65 and above.  However, these changes have not been made in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for when vaccine supply is limited.  Vaccine supply is limited and does not meet demand at this time for the current numbers of persons identified as healthcare workers, first responders, fire, police, and persons 75 and above.  Current recommendations from CDC are based on those from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  ACIP is an independent panel of medical and public health experts who provide vaccine guidance to CDC.

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