Vaccine numbers should be more readily available

Published 11:22 am Friday, March 5, 2021

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It has been more than two months since the vaccine rollout began in Alabama, yet, many are still struggling to receive the vaccine even if they are in the proper phase.

As of Thursday, Feb. 25, there were 815,013 doses of vaccine administered, including both Pfizer and Moderna, but the state as a whole continues to be one of the worst in the country at distributing the vaccine, while locally, it has been even more of a nightmare.

Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins has been begging for the county to receive more allotment of the vaccine, while Rep. Corley Ellis has joined him in the fight.

While the county has recently been able to put on three clinics administering around 1,000 doses at each, it hasn’t been nearly enough to meet the needs of even those in the proper age range.

And as much as Scroggins and Ellis want more vaccine to enter Shelby County, they simply want to see the numbers.

The only numbers the Alabama Department of Public Health has made available are the number of doses delivered to the state, the number administered statewide and the number of which vaccine has been administered.

The ADPH, however, hasn’t released any numbers related to counties and how many vaccines each county has been allotted or how many they have administered.

Those are numbers that not only need to be readily available, but should be required to be known so the ADPH and state can be held accountable for the fair release of the vaccine across the state.

The ADPH knows its distribution process and where each vaccine is going. The department isn’t just blindly throwing vaccine in the mail and crossing their fingers.

They have a meticulous and detailed plan in place for who will get a certain number of vaccine, but we don’t have access to that.

If they don’t know how much vaccine has been delivered to each county or if all of it has been administered, then that’s poor planning on their part, and that is highly unlikely with something as strategic as this needed to be.

Different areas are going to need different allotments of vaccine, that is understood. But since the start of COVID-19, the ADPH has made available numbers through their dashboard, including on a local level. That, however, hasn’t been the case with the vaccine rollout.

While there are different variables to deal with, the counties in this state deserve transparency.