CAMDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — In an effort to continue vaccinations statewide, Gov. Kay Ivey has announced that those 16 years and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines next week.
Ivey made the announcement during a visit to her hometown of Camden to tour the Alabama National Guard mobile vaccination clinic in Wilcox County. During the visit, Ivey said the new eligibility guidelines would go into effect Monday, April 5.
“This vaccine is our ticket back to normal,” Ivey said. “We’re so close to getting this in the rearview mirror.”
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.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the expansion was due to the available supply of vaccines that are currently in Alabama.
“We believe that everyone ought to receive this vaccine. It’s the way that Alabama gets back to normal. It’s the way that we put all this behind us,” Harris said.
As of Friday, over 2.7 million doses had been delivered to Alabama while over 1.7 million had been administered statewide.
Even though the governor is expanding eligibility to all Alabamians 16 and older, she said she’s not reversing her decision to end the statewide mask mandate which is set to expire on April 9th.
Watch the full press conference here.