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COVID-19 vaccine available for 75 and older

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

COVID-19 vaccinations are limitedly available to those 75 and older in Chilton County as of Jan. 18.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has named the Chilton County Health Department and St. Vincent’s Chilton as sites to receive the vaccine by appointment only.

Vaccinations are also available to first responders, law enforcement and firefighters by appointment only, according to a press release from Gov. Kay Ivey’s office.

“I appreciate the swift work of ADPH to establish a system to efficiently provide our limited resources of vaccine to as many Alabamians as possible,” Ivey said in a press release. “We have previously worked to provide vaccines to our health care workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic, and now, are diligently working to expand access to our seniors, law enforcement officers and various members of our first responders. It is critical for everyone to remain patient; demand is high, and supply is low. ADPH and their partners are working around-the-clock to assist as many people as they can.”

Appointments are available on a first come, first served basis.

“To schedule an appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccination, individuals may call the ADPH toll-free phone number at 1-855-566-5333. Telephone calls are answered from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. seven days a week,” the release stated. “If wanting to be vaccinated at sites other than a county health department, such as a private provider, individuals should contact those sites directly.”

However, the vaccination is still in phase one of distribution.

“We recognize that demand for vaccine exceeds supply,” said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. “While there is still an insufficient amount of the vaccine supply, we want to maximize our resources to help protect Alabamians at high risk. County health departments are working with their local points of distribution to assess what their vaccination reach has been. Decisions about the next groups to vaccinate are made at the community level with community engagement. If the very high-risk population has been covered adequately, providers can then begin vaccinating people in the other priority groups.”

When the vaccine is more readily available, phase 2 “educational efforts will target critical populations who were not vaccinated in Phase 1,” according to ADPH.

More information about the vaccine is available at alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/vaccine.html.