MONTGOMERY, Ala — COVID-19 vaccine distribution is underway in Alabama, but not everyone will have access to it immediately.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has set up a two-phase plan to determine how distribution will work in the state. This iteration of the plan was last updated on December 23, 2020.
Phase 1 of the plan covers the critical health care workforce and residents of long-term care. Phase 1 is split into three subsections, 1a, 1b and 1c.
In Phase 1a, vaccines will be available to frontline health workers, including clinical and non-clinical, in hospitals, nursing homes or those providing in-home or mental health care directly. Additionally, workers in other healthcare settings providing services that have a risk of exposure to fluids and aerosols will be in this subsection.
Phase 1b includes essential workers that are at the highest risk for work-related exposure and people in age groups identified as at-risk for COVID-19 associated morbidity and mortality. The age groups in this section includes people ages 75 or older.
Finally, Phase 1c includes those that are in age groups identified as at-risk for COVID-19 associated morbidity and mortality that were not included in Phase 1b, those with a high-risk medical condition and essential workers that were not recommended for vaccination in Phase 1b.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, those included in Phase 2 include all people in age groups, ages 18 and up, that have yet to be recommended for the vaccine and the general population that was not available in Phase 1.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a plethora of information on how to protect yourself and other from the coronavirus.
The virus can easily spread from person to person, so the CDC recommends you stay at least 6-feet apart from people not in your household. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breaths or talks, according to the CDC. Because of this, the CDC recommends you wear a cloth facemask when around others and in public.
Additionally, the CDC recommends that you frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Symptoms to look out for include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC.
Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the CDC.
If you suspect you have the coronavirus, you should seek out testing and self-quarantine.
Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
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