Enterprise Mayor William E. Cooper is working with Coffee County Emergency Management Agency Director James Brown to expand and speed up efforts to get COVID-19 vaccinations to the public.
Brown discussed the need for an expanded effort at Monday’s Coffee County Commission meeting and has been discussing the possibility of the County and City governments assisting the Alabama Department of Public Health in administering the vaccinations. Brown said the sheer numbers of people needing vaccinations makes distribution an enormous task and that the ADPH can only administer a limited number of vaccinations per week in Coffee County. Counties across the state are faced with the same or similar problems.
Cooper agrees with Brown that delivery of potentially life-saving vaccinations is absolutely crucial and he is working with Brown to quickly set up a meeting of local government leaders and health officials to come up with a plan. Any future plans would have to be approved by the ADPH and follow all federal and state guidelines for proper distribution of the vaccination.
Cooper said no decisions have been made at this time but he is hopeful the group of officials can move quickly so that more people can be vaccinated more quickly.
The public will be notified of any future plans regarding vaccine assistance.
The ADPH reported Monday that the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is exceeding supply because Alabama has more than 326,000 healthcare workers and about 350,000 people who qualify to be vaccinated because they are 75 years or older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices set the recommendations for allocation of the state’s limited vaccine supply.
The ADPH has set up an online registration portal and a toll-free hotline for healthcare workers, people age 75 or older, law enforcement officers and firefighters. The hotline number is 1-855-566-5333, but health officials ask that the general public not call this number unless they are in the qualifying group. The hotline was activated Monday and received more than 1.1 million calls, according to the ADPH website.