More time slots are opening up at the EAMC Community Vaccine Clinic next week as the supply shifts from administering second doses to providing first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The community clinic, located in the old Tuesday Morning location in Market Square Shopping Center on Opelika Road across from Auburn Mall, has mostly been administering the required second doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the past few weeks.
"Because the vaccine we are using (Pfizer) requires two doses, three weeks apart, the time slots for the first three weeks were mostly first doses," said John Atkinson, EAMC spokesman, in a news release. "And this week marks the end of the second doses for those patients."
EAMC uses a five-day rolling window for new appointments, meaning every weekday at 8 a.m. new time slots will become available for the next week. To self-schedule an appointment, go to www.eastALcovidvaccine.com.
The vaccine clinic is currently administering about 1,200 shots a day, and most of the time slots between Monday and April 2 will be for those receiving their first doses.
"Due to the sequencing of the shots, the number of new time slots for next Monday was relatively low this morning, but each new day will see more and more time slots open," said Atkinson, who also reminded the public that the groups eligible for the vaccine under the state's allocation plan hasn't changed. Currently, the following groups are eligible for vaccinations:
• Person age between 65 and 74 years
• Person age 75 years and older
• Frontline Critical Workers
• Education sector (teachers, support staff, higher education)
• Corrections officers
• Food and agriculture workers
• US Postal Service
• Grocery stores
• Public transit
• Judiciary (including but not limited to) circuit or district judges and district attorneys
• EMS/First Responders
• Healthcare workers in business settings (hospitals, doctor’s offices, etc.)
Atkinson noted that some worker groups mistakenly believe they are eligible for the vaccine when they are not, including those in hair and nail salons, individual caregivers, retail workers and those in real estate and financial institutions. Those in the service industry, including restaurant employees, are also not eligible yet under the allocation plan.
"Unfortunately, we are having people register under the 'Frontline Critical Workers' category who do not currently fit the criteria and we are having to turn them away at the door," said Atkinson. "All of them have valid work reasons for wanting to be vaccinated—and we want them to be vaccinated — but we are bound by the criteria set forth by the state.
"We are also very eager to vaccinate people younger than 65 who have high-risk medical conditions. As soon as we are able to open Phase 1C, we will notify the community and update our registration portal."
With more people getting vaccinated nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on Monday that gives those vaccinated the license to resume some social activities. While it still recommends that everyone wear masks, social distance and avoid crowds, the CDC said that two weeks after receiving the final dose of vaccine, people may start visiting indoors with those who are fully vaccinated without wearing a mask.
The CDC also says fully-vaccinated people can gather indoors with those who are unvaccinated, as long as those people or anyone they live with aren't at increased risk of severe disease.
Those who have been vaccinated also do not need to quarantine or get tested if they have been around someone with Covid-19 unless they start showing symptoms.
As of Tuesday, more than 700,000 Alabamians had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. In all, 1.1 million of the roughly 1.62 million doses Alabama has received to date have been administered.