Ivey Expands COVID Vaccination Ages to 16 and Older

Ashley Burt, an employee in the Jefferson County School District, received her dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at UAB. (Source: UAB)

If you’re old enough to drive, you’re now old enough to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Alabama.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday that beginning Monday, anyone aged 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine. She made the announcement while visiting a mobile vaccination center in Wilcox County, which is operated by the Alabama National Guard following Ivey’s activation of the Guard to set up sites in 24 counties.

“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. Recent findings from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 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,” Governor Ivey said in a statement issued by her office.

“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” she continued.

Ivey has said she will not extend mandatory mask usage past its scheduled expiration April 9 at 5 p.m.

All three vaccine brands will be allowed for those aged 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine will be given to those between 16 and 18, as the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson shots have not been approved for those under 18. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, while the J&J version takes only one.

The expansion makes nearly 4 million Alabamians in total eligible for the vaccine, the press release said.

But long waits for the vaccine still are being reported in many areas of the state, and some vaccine-seekers are driving a hundred miles or more after finding an available vaccine.

So far, more than 1.1 million residents have received their full regimen, with more than 1.7 million shots given. The state currently gets a supply of about 115,000 doses weekly.

BirminghamWatch maintains an updated list of vaccination locations for greater Birmingham here.