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State talks vaccine security, releases location information

Keeping the COVID vaccines safe and secure
Keeping the COVID vaccines safe and secure
Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 10:05 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: ADPH released information Tuesday about the hospital receiving vaccine:

Athens-Limestone Hospital, Athens; Baptist Medical Center South, Montgomery; Cullman Regional Medical Center, Cullman; DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa; East Alabama Medical Center, Opelika; Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville; Lake Martin Community Hospital, Dadeville; Mobile Infirmary, Mobile; Providence Hospital, Mobile; Southeast Health, Dothan; Springhill Memorial Hospital, Mobile; Thomas Hospital, Fairhope; UAB Hospital, Birmingham; USA Health University Hospital, Mobile; USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, Mobile.

We’re learning more about how the state plans to keep Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine secure and why there was secrecy about which hospitals would get the vaccine.

Although the Alabama Department of Health released information about the vaccine arriving in the state, specific details about times and locations for the vaccines arriving at their destinations were being kept secret.

WBRC asked deputy state health officer Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH if the state believed someone would steal the vaccines. Landers said the state wouldn’t rule anything out, but that’s not what they were referring to when the state mentioned keeping the vaccines secure.

“The main issue there is, speaking of security in terms of being able to transport the vaccine, have the vaccine at the receiving hospital, but also ensuring that the cold chain has been maintained and there’s not any issues with broken vials or damage to the shipment or something of that nature,” Landers explained.

Landers said there was also a reason the state kept the hospitals where the vaccine was headed under wraps.

“Just wanting to allow the hospitals to do the important work before them and that is getting the vaccine product into the appropriate storage situation, verifying their processes, and being able to be ready to vaccinate persons that are in their phase 1A, rather than having any additional distractions,” Dr. Landers said.

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