ADPH: A COVID-19 vaccine is a big step, healthcare system needs to be prepared

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Public Health said it is working to make sure the state’s healthcare system is prepared for when a COVID-19 vaccine hits the market.

“We have to have additional involvement in terms of our community vaccinators in terms of our physicians, pharmacies, other health care providers hospitals,” explained Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH.

Landers said this means everyone who will be involved in administering or receiving the drug will need to enroll in the state’s vaccine records program.

“In order to document persons receiving the vaccine and be able to track the vaccine product that a person receives as this will be a two-dose series of vaccines,” she explained. “We need doses actually recorded into the electronic system or the imprint system so that we will be aware of the recall of persons for that second dose effects.”

Landers said ADPH is making a point to emphasize education once the vaccine is made available.

“As we will have priority age groups or priority risk groups that will be defined to us, we will also they do have educational material for persons who are going to receive the vaccine,” she said. “So that they will have an understanding of the product and understanding of any, you know, potential issues that might need to be reported after receiving the product, then need to follow up with a second dose and other various factors in doing this.”

Public confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine has decreased since the pandemic began. Some News 19 viewers said they wouldn’t take it because they feel the drug is being rushed.

ADPH said when all phases of development are complete, and the drug is FDA approved, some might change their minds.

“The Alabama Department of Public Health has given vaccines before, we give many vaccines, we have done mass vaccination before,” said Landers. “We’ll be working with our plan, it will have to be a flexible plan. We will have to make adjustments in our plan as we determine what product or products are available in order to provide a safe and effective vaccine experience.”

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