Landers: COVID vaccines could take months

FLORENCE – Dr. Karen Landers said Tuesday that the state continues administering the first phase of COVID-19 vaccinations but patience from the public is needed.
Landers, Area 1 health officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said Alabama remains in Phase 1a of vaccine distribution, which goes to high-risk health workers and first responders.
It likely will take months for everyone in the state to receive vaccines, she said.
“We expect that it will still be several months for persons who do not have an age category, a medical category or a work category that qualifies them to receive the vaccine,” she said. “Again, it’s all about supply and I do expect demand to outstrip supply for the next few months.”
Alabama has been allocated 226,000 doses of the vaccine and 42,811 Alabamians had been vaccinated as of Monday morning, Landers said. She expects those number to ramp up.
“I expect that to grow exponentially,” Landers said.
The state is following Centers for Disease Control guidelines in vaccine phase allocation.
Those include:
–Phase 1a “Jumpstart Phase”:
• High-risk health workers
• First responders

–Phase 1b:
• People of all ages with comorbid and underlying conditions that put them at significantly higher risk
• Older adults living in congregate or overcrowded settings

–Phase 2:
• K-12 teachers and school staff and child care workers
• Critical workers in high-risk settings — workers who are in industries essential to the functioning of society and substantially higher risk of exposure
• People of all ages with comorbid and underlying conditions that put them at moderately higher risk
• People in homeless shelters or group homes for individuals with disabilities, including serious mental illness, development and intellectual disabilities, and physical disabilities or in recovery, and staff who work in such settings
• People in prisons, jails, detention centers, and similar facilities, and staff who work in such settings
• All older adults not included in Phase 1

–Phase 3:
• Young adults
• Children
• Workers in industries and occupations important to the functioning of society and at increased risk of exposure not included in Phase 1 or 2