Why Is Alabama Coming Last In Vaccination?
According to the data, Alabama is in the last position in terms of vaccines administered. This is based on the CDC's data tracker, which compiles data from healthcare facilities and public health authorities.
Each day it is updated to report the total number of COVID-19 vaccines that have been distributed to each state and the total number each state has administered. And sadly, Alabama is ranked in 51st position. Behind every other state and Washington D.C
According to the CDC tracker on June 9, these are the stats that have Alabama in the last place.
Doses distributed to state: 4,646,130
Doses administered: 3,036,833
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 65.36
Vaccinations are slowing down across the country, but in Alabama, the deceleration is happening quicker.
While in March, Alabama was in line with the United States pace for vaccine doses administered per person per day, it has since fallen behind, and the gap grows bigger every day.
The peak day for vaccination was April 14, when Alabama administered 82 vaccine doses per 10,000 people. That figure is now less than half. As shown in the figures above, Alabama is also last in the country in actually using its doses.
Why so slow?
Health officials and specialists attribute much of the blame to Alabama’s public-health system. The system has been depleted by years of poor funding, resulting in counties with minimal staff in their health departments. In some cases, there is no health department at all.
Additionally, there has been a range of administrative and technological problems, such as very outdated software. Alabama’s telephone hotline for vaccine appointments couldn't handle initial demand, and it took too long to be able to make appointments online via a website.
In January, a software glitch led to people in Birmingham showing up for scheduled appointments to find no staff at the vaccination center.
There have also been accessibility issues in rural Alabama due to the closure of several rural hospitals. This is a problem consistent across the United States.
“(Rural issues are )indicative of the general erosion of the rural health-care infrastructure across the country,” said Mark Holmes, director of Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services at the University of North Carolina.
National Month of Action Begins Goal is 70 Percent COVID-19 Vaccination
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is encouraging everyone in Alabama to work toward the goal of having 70 percent of U.S. adults getting at least one COVID-19 vaccination by July Fourth.
President Biden launched the National Month of Action initiative to encourage people across the nation to work together to get their communities vaccinated. The ADPH acknowledges "decreasing numbers of Alabama residents are being vaccinated even though vaccines are available, so promotions and actions are needed now to defeat COVID-19."
The Alabama Department of Public Health has urged people to get vaccinated, stating that vaccinations have been proven to work against COIVD.
For example, in April, more 16 to 34-year-olds were hospitalized due to the virus than there were for people 75 years and older.
“That doesn't mean hospitalizations are increasing in the 16-to-34-year olds, it just shows that they are remaining very flat relative to the over 75 who are experiencing big decreases in hospitalizations. That’s an indication the vaccine is working doing what it’s supposed to do.” Dr. Suzanne Judd with The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Suzanne Judd with The University of Alabama at Birmingham also urged children to get vaccinated.
Let's hope that Alabama can increase its distribution and administration of the vaccine and move off the bottom of the charts.