The Alabama Department of Public Health stated that it asked people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to call the state hospital “at a loss” and asked the public not to call the hospital directly to schedule an appointment.
ADPH said the state plans to start vaccinating people over 75 years of age and more important staff on January 18. Within a few hours, Alabama hospitals were already full of calls from people who wanted to make appointments. , And the number of calls is working for those hospitals.
The department said at a press conference on Friday: “Please do not call your local hospital directly to schedule an appointment to receive your COVID-1
The press release stated: “We understand that the hospital’s switchboard is being overwhelmed by telephone calls, which creates obstacles to patient care.” “Hospitals throughout Alabama not only provide medical services for COVID-19 patients, but also provide medical services to our citizens. Respond to all other medical needs.”
Alabama is currently only vaccinating personnel in Phase 1a of the plan, frontline health care personnel and some emergency responders, and those who have extensive contact with COVID patients at work (including laboratory and room personnel). If there is sufficient supply, some areas have begun to provide vaccines to other populations, but most of these areas are in the county health department.
ADPH said: “Although hospitals in some areas of the state have begun to vaccinate elderly people aged 75 and over, most hospitals are still trying to ensure that their front-line workers have been vaccinated.” “Hospitals and others outside the county health department More information will be provided when the locality provides vaccines to other populations.”
ADPH also launched a statewide vaccination program hotline on Friday, and people can also call 1-855-566-5333. Calls are answered 7 days a week from 8 am to 5 pm, but ADPH said the line received more than 1.1 million calls on its first day of operation.
As a result, ADPH requires people to call the hotline only for those who are eligible to receive the vaccine on or before January 18, which means people over 75 years of age or people who work in the work listed in stage 1a or 1b of the state’s vaccine distribution program.
ADPH said on Saturday: “If you are not eligible to arrange a vaccine now, please do not call the appointment phone.” “Due to the large number of calls, our target group cannot make an appointment by phone.
“The COVID-19 vaccination appointments are currently only available for medical staff, people aged 75 and over, and first responders (including law enforcement personnel and firefighters). Demand for vaccines in Alabama continues to exceed supply, with more than 300,000 medical staff And nearly 350,000 people aged 75 years and over are eligible for the vaccine.”
ADPH said that people who have general questions about the vaccine do not want to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine and can call 1-800-270-7268.
ADPH also provides a list of hospitals and medical institutions that have been vaccinated as of January 6, but as the state receives more vaccine shipments, more locations will be added.
In Birmingham, the Jefferson County Health Department also has a hotline to provide vaccine information at 205-858-2221. Jefferson County residents can also send INFOJEFFCO messages to 888777 to register for COVID-19 vaccine text message updates.
*Updated at 10:15 AM and contains additional information from ADPH.