An online portal is now available for Alabama residents to check their eligibility and schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Launched by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), the online portal asks individuals to answer a series of questions to determine their eligibility; then, if eligible, they can make appointments to receive a vaccine. Users simply provide the county where they want to receive their vaccination, click the appropriate age range and go through questions regarding where they work or serve as a volunteer to determine eligibility.
The portal can be accessed at https://www.alcovidvaccine.gov/.
The portal provides a link to the ADPH vaccine distribution dashboard where maps show health department drive-thru and walk-in clinics around the state as well as health department sites doing vaccinations by appointment. Users can also access a map for all vaccine providers around the state.
Users can register through the portal to receive email notifications when the vaccine becomes available for other groups of people in their area, according to an ADPH news release. Information about the vaccine product itself and what to expect is provided.
The portal also provides practical information for the people scheduled to receive the vaccine, such as what they should bring, mask requirements and a vaccine fact sheet.
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, according to ADPH. On Monday, Feb. 8, the state plans to extend eligibility to people 65 or older as well as additional frontline critical workers such as teachers, childcare workers and food and agriculture workers. That will add over 1 million more people who are eligible to receive a vaccine.
Sites listed in the ADPH portal have limited supply of vaccine available, according to the news release.
Based on current supply and expectations for shipments for the next month, ADPH believes that public health clinics will have to spend February heavily focused on providing second doses for the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments may not be available immediately since access is directly related to the amount of vaccine provided by the federal government, according to the news release. But if the federal vaccine supply increases for Alabama, the ADPH expects to increase the access to appointments for more people.
Individuals are encouraged to visit drive-thru and walk-in clinics, or other vaccine providers, if appointments are not currently available at a county health department location.
Alabama’s COVID-19 Vaccination Allocation Plan, which can be viewed by clicking a box on the portal, was developed by working with stakeholders and following guidance provided by the federal government. For general information about COVID-19, the COVID-19 Information Hotline number is 1-800-270-7268.
Peggy Ussery is a Dothan Eagle staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334-712-7963. Support her work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at dothaneagle.com.