First COVID-19 vaccine has begun arriving in Alabama, UAB staffing up

Respiratory therapist inside UAB’s COVID ICU. Photo via University of Alabama at Birmingham

Alabama’s initial allocation of 40,950 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has begun arriving in the state. As a result of the growing number of COVID-19 cases and staff needed to administer the vaccines, UAB is staffing up. 

15 Sites

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) initial allocation of vaccines will be received at three sites across the state today and 12 sites tomorrow. The vaccine is being shipped directly to 15 pre-identified Alabama hospitals which have capacity for ultracold storage of the Pfizer product. 

UAB will be receiving 10,725 initial doses of the Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which they are anticipating arriving by early to mid-week. They hope to begin vaccinating health care workers from UAB, other Jefferson County hospitals and EMS providers on the UAB campus in 2 locations as soon as logistically possible.

The current allocation for administration is 50 percent for hospital healthcare workers, 15 percent for EMS providers, 15 percent for physician offices, and 20 percent for other hospital staff not associated with the point of distribution.

How They Were Selected

UAB Hospital
UAB Hospital is the best hospital in Alabama according to U.S. News and World Report. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

ADPH selected hospitals to receive the initial allocation based upon their ability to handle ultracold storage product. Cold chain storing will be managed according to the product requirements. Mechanisms for monitoring of temperature of the product are in place as part of the shipping and storage process.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses separated by 21 days, and a recall system for second doses has been established. Additional vaccine doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are expected at weekly intervals, and the second doses of the vaccine will be included in follow-up allocations. A recall system has been established to ensure follow-up doses.

For additional information about the distribution  go to

Still a Long Way Off

Birmingham, Etsy, FifthAndMill, masks, face masks, crafters
My mask from FifthAndMill. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

Despite the wonderful vaccine news, the pandemic is far from over.  Health professionals are pleading with residents to follow these guidelines:

If you do go out:

  • Wear a mask
  • Stay six feet apart from others 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer 
  • Stay home if you are sick 

UAB Staffing Up

Nurse inside UAB’s COVID ICU. Photo via University of Alabama at Birmingham

Today, December 14th, the state reported 2,286 COVID-19 hospitalizations, shattering the record set late last week. With the surge in cases and hospitalizations continuing to rise, plus the need to administer the vaccine, UAB has numerous temporary job openings ranging from RNs to clerical staff.  

Here is a listing.

RN – Pandemic Surge Staffing (Flexi) # 801 T181809

RN – Clinic Nurse – COVID Vaccine Administration   Job ID: 9985

LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse – COVID Vaccine Administration Job ID: 10003

Patient Encounter Representative – COVID Vaccine Registration   Job ID: 9995

Patient Encounter Representative – COVID Vaccine Scheduling   Job ID: 9976

To view the full list of positions at UAB Medicine, visit:

Bottom line

The good news—the vaccine is here and that will help a number of our brave frontline healthcare workers. And if you are available, qualified and want to pitch-in please step forward and contact UAB. 

Last: Everyone, let’s do OUR part and follow the guidelines provided to us by our local healthcare professionals.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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