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ADPH launches appointment portal; VRMC to receive 5K doses of vaccine

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Monday announced the launch of an online portal that will allow residents to check their eligibility for vaccination, make appointments at county health departments and access up-to-date information on drive-through and walk-in clinics across the state.

“By entering information in the portal, individuals can confirm their eligibility, select a county where they intend to schedule their vaccination and indicate if they want to be notified if interested in receiving an e-mail when the vaccine becomes available for additional priority groups,” the press release stated. “Information about the vaccine product itself and what to expect is also provided.”

According to the dashboard, four sites in Dallas County are providing vaccine – Dallas Avenue Pharmacy, Vaughan Regional Medical Center (VRMC), the Dallas County Health Department and MainStreet Family Care – and at least four drive-thru clinics are slated to be held at Bloch Park over the coming days between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Bloch Park clinic dates will be held Thursday, Feb. 4, for people 75 or older and first responders, while clinic dates on the three following Thursdays – Feb. 11, 18 and 25 – vaccine will be available to people 65 and older and additional frontline workers such as mail carriers, grocery store workers, manufacturing workers, education officials and more.

During a Selma Rotary Club meeting Monday, VRMC CEO David McCormack noted that the local hospital is among a handful of sites across the state to be selected to receive 5,000 doses of vaccine next week.

While details have not been finalized for distributing the vaccine, those looking to get vaccinated can check their eligibility and schedule an appointment through the portal launched Monday.

According to VRMC Growth and Outreach Director Maegan Austin, hospital officials met with community leaders Tuesday afternoon to “work out locations and logistics” for the impending vaccination push.

The ADPH press release noted that, while the dashboard contains in-depth information about vaccine providers and clinic dates, supply is still limited in the state.

“The demand for vaccine continues to greatly exceed supply as Alabama has more than 326,000 healthcare workers and nearly 350,000 people who now qualify for a vaccine because they are 75 years of age or older,” the press release stated. “On February 8, the addition of people 65 or older and frontline critical workers will add over 1 million more people that are eligible to receive a vaccine.”

“Sites listed in the portal have limited supply of vaccine available,” the release continued. “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. As appointments may not be available immediately, the limitation of appointments is directly related to the amount of vaccine provided by the federal government. If supply of vaccine products from the federal government increases, ADPH expects that access to appointments for priority groups will increase as well. 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.”

To access the new COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Check and Scheduling Portal, visit www.alcovidvaccine.gov. For general information related to COVID-19. Call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 800-270-7268.