ADPH addresses criticism of COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Alabama News

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is continuing to face harsh criticism over its handling of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. The state is still ranked among the worst in the country based on vaccine distribution.

Meanwhile, the ADPH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline has still been unable to keep up with the volume of calls it’s been receiving from callers ages 75 and older.

“We know that our initial hotline situation was a disappointment. It was a disappointment for us, and we do not want people to have a long wait to call in,” said Dr. Karen Landers of the ADPH.

Some of those callers, have complained to News 19 that they still have not received a call back from the ADPH in two weeks.

“They will get called back and we’re working on some additional systems to be able to let people know not only in a call back but also in an electronic matter such as a text message or an email,” said Dr. Landers.

The ADPH is hoping the launch of a online vaccine registration portal early next week will take some pressure off the phone lines and streamline the process. But there are concerns that some seniors may find navigating the system challenging.

“Some people like to call and talk with someone and we will be able to have an opportunity for people to get that information and be directed or have information entered for their appointments,” said Dr. Landers.

As for the state’s slow distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, to date, the state has received more than 521,000 doses and have administered less than half of that. The ADPH said it’s using much of its vaccine supply this week to give out required second doses of the Moderna vaccine to those who were administered the first dose four weeks ago.

“Certainly people want more vaccine than we have supply, so we’ve got an imbalance of supply versus demand and we have to give that second dose,” said Dr. Landers.

Trending Stories