On April 5 the eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will expand to people of ages 16 and over, said an announcement from Gov. Kay Ivey.
“I have committed to the people of Alabama that we are on a path forward, and while there is more work to be done, I remain hopeful and optimistic in where we are going," she said.
"Recent findings from the CDC show preliminary data suggesting that vaccinated individuals do not appear to be spreading the virus, so that is hopeful, underscores the effectiveness of the vaccine and is yet another reason to get the shot.”
Ivey stated further that she hopes that the expanded vaccine rollout will allow for the public to get closer to normal daily life but stressed wearing masks.
“Truly, this vaccine is our ticket back to normal life," she said. "We are so close to getting COVID-19 in the rearview, and until then, we should all keep wearing our masks, get vaccinated and use the common sense the good Lord gave us.”
The Pfizer vaccine is available to those of ages 16 and up, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available to people of 18 years old and up.
As of April 1, 1,724,463 doses have been given out, the announcement said. The expansion will bring close to 4 million people eligible for vaccination. The state receives an estimated 115,000 first doses per week.
"In the initial phases of our vaccine allocation plan, we have given just over 1.7 million shots. These shots have gone to more than 1.1 million Alabamians most at risk of illness and death due to COVID-19,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.
“As progress has been made, equitable vaccine distribution has been and remains a driving force in immunizing state residents. The increased supply of safe and effective vaccines means all adults who wish to be vaccinated are now eligible to receive the protection vaccines offer."
For more information about the virus, call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-270-7268. Alabama vaccine providers can be found at the Alabama COVID-19 Dashboard Hub.