By: Hayden C. Cordova | Managing Editor
Image courtesy of Alabama Department of Public Health
With the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19 pending approval by the FDA, it’s one of the most difficult steps to get the vaccine out to the public. While there are several factors preventing everyone from getting inoculated at the same time, South released a variety of resources for students, faculty, and other groups’ use.
The first and largest obstacle preventing widespread distribution has been a nationwide vaccine shortage. This is largely due to the monumental demand across America straining the delivery efforts. None of this helps the fact that Alabama currently has the lowest vaccination rate in the nation, with less than 2 percent of the population having received a vaccination, according to the CDC’s vaccine tracker.
There are two phases in the Alabama Department of Health’s Covid-19 Allocation Plan, with phase one divided into three subsections. Currently, phase 1b is in effect, with critical workers and those at high risk being eligible for the vaccine. As of Feb. 8, AL.com reports the eligibility age limit lowered to those 65 and older rather than 75 and older, and includes educators, grocery workers, and others.
For those not within this range of the populace, such as South students, there is a way to get involved before widespread distribution becomes available. South issued a Vaccination Information Registration Form for those wanting to list themselves as interested in receiving a vaccine after being cleared as eligible by the state department of health.
While this will not guarantee an appointment, it gives the vaccine center an idea of how many doses they need to plan for when eligibility opens up.
South partnered with the Mobile Civic Center to provide a drive-thru vaccination clinic for healthcare workers, emergency responders, and high-risk individuals. This will be made available to the general populace once stage 2 is announced.
With these efforts and resources, South is slowly but surely opening up vaccination opportunities for a widespread populace, and can hopefully help raise Alabama’s abysmal rankings in vaccination numbers.