• 90°
Hartselle Enquirer

ADPH pleads for halt to COVID vaccine phone calls

By Alison James 

For the Enquirer  

After the Alabama Department of Public Health announced additional groups are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, hospitals were quickly overwhelmed by response from the public. 

The ADPH issued the following plea Jan. 8: 

“Please do not call your local hospital directly to set up appointments to be scheduled to receive your COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We have learned that hospital switchboards are being overwhelmed with phone calls, which is creating an obstacle to patient care. Hospitals throughout Alabama are overwhelmed in providing care to both COVID-19 patients as well as responding to all other medical needs of our citizens. 

“While hospitals in a few areas of the state have begun vaccinating those 75 years of age and older, most are still working to make sure their frontline workers are vaccinated. 

“Additional information will be provided when hospitals and locations other than county health departments have vaccine available for additional groups.” 

That morning the ADPH had announced adults 75 and older, as well as firefighter and law enforcement officers, were eligible for the vaccine, although the emphasis on getting the vaccine to frontline workers remains paramount. 

Appointments at locations throughout the state are made first come, first serve. The addition of these groups is not a full expansion into the next phase of the vaccine rollout, according to the ADPH. 

“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,” said Gov. Kay Ivey said. “We have previously worked to provide vaccines to our healthcare 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.” 

According to the ADPH, Alabama continues to vaccinate more than 326,000 healthcare workers and nursing home residents who are most at-risk of contracting COVID-19. As the vaccine uptake for this category is satisfied, ADPH is now encouraging sites to vaccinate persons in the 75-plus age group and those in the law enforcement and firefighter vocations – with an eye toward preventing any loss of vaccine because cold chain storage requirements. 

“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, Scott said, are working with local distribution points to assess what their vaccination reach has been. 

“Decisions about the next groups to vaccinate are made at the community level with community engagement,” Harris explained. “If the very high-risk population has been covered adequately, providers can then begin vaccinating people in the other priority groups.” 

Nearly 350,000 people in the state qualify for a vaccine at 75 years old and older, according to the ADPH. 

“It is critical for everyone to remain patient; demand is high, and supply is low,” Ivey added. “ADPH and their partners are working around-the-clock to assist as many people as they can.” 

To schedule an appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccination at a county health department, 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. 

For information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://go.usa.gov/xARKE. 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Hartselle Camp Meeting begins Sunday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Salute: Hartselle High alumnus graduates from Naval Academy 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Hartselle Camp Meeting begins Sunday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Goodbye to a good boy: Beloved family pet, Ace, battles cancer  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

College Street Players to present Newsies: The Broadway Musical 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle adds two police officers 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle bomb threat deemed hoax

Editor's picks

At 90, Carl Winton keeps on trucking

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle man with rare genetic condition headed to Grand Ole Opry

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan delegation discusses recent legislative session 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

College Street Players to present Newsies: The Broadway Musical

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

HU adjusts rates for water, sewer and natural gas services

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Town Council helps Priceville Elementary furnish school 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle City Schools hires three math coaches for 2024-25 school year 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Crestline students rock Alabama Stock Market Games, poster contest

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

New EMA director worries and plans for a living

Falkville

Jonna’s journey: Local woman battles Glioblastoma with unyielding faith 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheriff’s Office opens applications for 2024 youth academy

Brewer

MCS Technology Park to host STEAM summer camp for middle school students 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Bridging the gap: Hartselle Historical Society launches guided walk downtown bringing history to life

Falkville

Storm shelter companies see increase in calls for installation

Falkville

Morgan County rabies clinic to be held June 1

Eva

Community class reunion celebrates Morgan schools

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hats off: Class of 2024 graduates from Hartselle High School

x