BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health disputed the CDC’s low ranking for Alabama for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The CDC has Alabama near the bottom in the country.
Alabama Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said there was a reporting problem. Some vaccination records were kicked out by computers. The health department’s IT workers have been working on correcting the information all week.
CDC’s ranking has North Dakota as listed near the top when it comes to distribution of vaccines. Alabama according to the CDC is third from the bottom. “Those numbers are not correct. We have a disconnect when it comes to reporting certain type of shots. Perhaps from the long term care pharmacy program make up the biggest number of that, " Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama Department of Public Health said.
Harris said logging mistakes were being made by some vaccine providers. ADPH leaders said the issue has been corrected, and providers are reminded that all doses of COVID-19 vaccine must be recorded in the system within 24 hours of administration.
The health department’s dashboard for vaccine distribution shows 130,394 shots have been given. The state has received 370,575 doses out of an allotment of 640,150. ADPH leaders said the federal government has not delivered some allocated doses to Alabama.
Dr. Karen Landers, ADPH, said another issue the CDC is not including some vaccinations into those numbers.
“The allocation on our dashboard does not include what has been allocated to federal facilities which include the long term care facilities in the state of Alabama,” Dr. Landers said.
Those are nursing home patients.
Harris says the main problem is the supply. The state doesn’t have enough vaccine. “If every shot in Alabama was administered today and there was no longer any shots to give anyone, we would still barely have our phase one population,” Harris said.
On Monday, ADPH will begin vaccination of people age 75 and older, law enforcement officers and firefighters in addition to healthcare workers at county health departments by appointment statewide. Because COVID-19 vaccine administration is a priority, ADPH will be limiting or reducing other public health services at county health departments for the foreseeable future in order to have enough providers to administer every available dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
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 old and older. Priority access to vaccine cannot be granted to other groups of people yet as ADPH follows the recommendations of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the allocation of this limited supply.
Click here for information on how to get on the waiting list for vaccine in Alabama.