COVID vaccine eligibility to include those 16 and older

FROM STAFF REPORTS  

Starting April 5, Alabamians 16 and older will be eligible for some versions of the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement Friday, April 2 during a visit to the Alabama National Guard mobile vaccination clinic in Wilcox County.

The Pfizer vaccine is available to individuals age 16 and up, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are both available to individuals 18 years of age and older.

With this expansion, there will be close to 4 million eligible individuals in the state of Alabama. Currently, the state receives approximately 115,000 first doses each week.

“I have committed to the people of Alabama that we are on a path forward, and while there is more work to be done, I remain hopeful and optimistic in where we are going. Recent findings from the CDC show preliminary data suggesting that vaccinated individuals do not appear to be spreading the virus, so that is hopeful, underscores the effectiveness of the vaccine and is yet another reason to get the shot,” Ivey said. “Truly, this vaccine is our ticket back to normal life. We are so close to getting COVID-19 in the rearview, and until then, we should all keep wearing our masks, get vaccinated and use the common sense the good Lord gave us.”
Since the virus began, there have been 23,097 cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County with 331 of those coming over the last 14 days. There have also been less than 30 new cases of the virus 12 of the last 14 days across the county, while 4,963 total residents have been tested in that span.

Statewide, there have been 516,266 cases of the virus since the first case was confirmed with 6,104 in the last week. The seven-day moving average of new cases per day is the lowest it has been since April of last year.

“In the initial phases of our vaccine allocation plan, we have given just over 1.7 million shots. These shots have gone to more than 1.1 million Alabamians most at risk of illness and death due to COVID-19,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “As progress has been made, equitable vaccine distribution has been and remains a driving force in immunizing state residents. The increased supply of safe and effective vaccines means all adults who wish to be vaccinated are now eligible to receive the protection vaccines offer.”

As of April 1, 1,724,463 doses have been administered.

Concerning the Shelby County area specifically, upcoming clinics will be held at Columbiana’s Old Mill Square on Monday, April 5 and Wednesday, April 7 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting Covid19.shelbyal.com.

For general information about COVID 19, the COVID-19 Information Hotline number is 1-800-270-7268. Alabama vaccine providers can be found within the Alabama COVID-19 Dashboard Hub.