The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) will extend COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to individuals age 16 and older beginning April 5, Gov. Kay Ivey said during a visit to the Alabama National Guard mobile vaccination clinic in Wilcox County Friday.
With 16 being the minimum age for all approved COVID-19 vaccine brands, as of Monday, every Alabamian who can be vaccinated will be eligible to be vaccinated.
“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," Ivey 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. Truly, this vaccine is our ticket back to normal life. 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 individuals age 16 and up, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are both available to individuals 18 years of age and older.
With this expansion, there will be close to 4 million eligible individuals in the state of Alabama. Currently, the state receives approximately 115,000 first doses each 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."
As of April 1, 1,724,463 doses have been administered in Alabama, according to ADPH data.