BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Joe Biden has released a COVID-19 vaccine plan intended to speed up distribution.
So, how will that impact vaccinations here in Alabama?
President Biden has promised a more forceful government response to the coronavirus pandemic, planning to spend $20 billion on the national vaccination program and pledging 100 million doses will be administered in his first 100 days in office. And the state’s health officer said that would be “terrific,” if that goal can be achieved.
“Given the amounts of vaccine that are being made right now in the country, we do have a very slow supply coming in, so it’s hard to see how that’s going to change when our numbers seems to be limited just by the absolute amount being made,” said Dr. Harris.
Dr. Harris said some of this problem will ease once other vaccine products receive emergency use authorization.
Right now, Alabama ranks last in the country for vaccination efforts, though Dr. Harris said the most recent numbers from the CDC are still off by about 50,000 or 60,000 doses.
“We actually feel like we’re doing a reasonably good job. We’re up to around 184,000 doses that were given as of yesterday. That’s more than a third of all the doses we have in the state,” Dr. Harris said.
Dr. Harris said distribution sites around the state are ready and able to administer the vaccines, and he hopes President Biden’s plan to get 100 million COVID-19 shots into people’s arms in the next 100 days will come true.
“We understand that many people are very frustrated and are wondering when they’re going to get the shot. We’re going to have enough vaccine for everyone, but it’s not going to be right away. There’s still not enough vaccine to go around,” Dr. Harris explained.
President Biden said the vaccine will be free to everyone, regardless of immigration status. He also plans to release nearly all vaccine doses, instead of holding back stock for second doses. But the Trump Administration said those doses have already been released.