Alabama moves into Phase 1b of COVID-19 vaccine to include those 75+, Jan. 18

CDC, shots, vaccine
Photo via the CDC/Unsplash

Effective Monday, January 18, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available statewide by appointment only to Alabamians 75 years and older and to first responders including firefighters and law enforcement. 

The news was announced today in a press release by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

Healthcare workers, who were the first to receive the vaccine beginning January 4 will continue to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

 “We have previously worked to provide vaccines to our health care workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic, and now, are diligently working to expand access to our seniors, law enforcement officers and various members of our first responders. It is critical for everyone to remain patient; demand is high, and supply is low. ADPH and their partners are working around-the-clock to assist as many people as they can.”

Governor Kay Ivey

How is it decided who has access to the COVID-19 vaccine and when?

Alabama Public Health
Healthcare workers and those at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19 were first to receive the vaccine. Photo via Alabama Public Health’s Facebook

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris stated in the press release, “We recognize that demand for vaccine exceeds supply. While there is still an insufficient amount of the vaccine supply, we want to maximize our resources to help protect Alabamians at high risk. County health departments are working with their local points of distribution to assess what their vaccination reach has been. Decisions about the next groups to vaccinate are made at the community level with community engagement. If the very high-risk population has been covered adequately, providers can then begin vaccinating people in the other priority groups.”

How to Schedule an Appointment for a COVID-19 Vaccination

  • For those in Jefferson County, call the Jefferson County Vaccine Call Center at 205.858.2221 or visit Calls are taken Monday through Friday from 8AM-5PM.
  • For other counties, to receive the free COVID-19 vaccination at a county health department, call 1.855.566.5333. Calls are taken daily from 8AM-5PM.
  • To be vaccinated at locations other than a county health department, such as a private provider, contact them directly.

*Do not call your local hospital directly to set up appointments. Hospital switchboards are being overwhelmed with phone calls, which is creating an obstacle to patient care.  

Wondering where to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here to find a location near you.

When will you be able to get your COVID-19 vaccination?

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

If you’re like many, you’re tapping your fingers as you wait to find out when you will be able to get your COVID-19 vaccination. To help make your wait a bit more patient, here are the phases that the COVID-19 vaccine will be released and who they will be able to receive them during each phase:

Phase 1a: Critical healthcare workforce + residents of long-term care (e.g., nursing home residents).

Effective Date: Jan. 4

Phase 1a includes: emergency medical service personnel, nurses, nursing assistants, home healthcare personnel, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the healthcare facility, medical supply delivery, mortuary services, and persons not directly involved in patient care, but who could be exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted in the healthcare setting (e.g., clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel).

Effective Date: January 18


  • Persons age 75+ 
  • Frontline essential workers
  • Persons working or living in congregate settings including, but not limited to, homeless shelters, group homes, prisons, or jails
  • First responders including firefighters and law enforcement

Phase 1c: Persons in identified age groups at risk for COVID-19 associated morbidity and mortality not included in Phase 1b, persons with high-risk medical conditions.

Effective Date: TBD


  • Persons age 18+ 
  • Young adults age 18-30 years with typically broader social networks that increase their risk of infection and transmission, but less likelihood of becoming severely ill or dying due to COVID-19
  • Persons not required to have contact with potential sources of COBID-19
  • Persons not required to have contact with the general public

Effective Date: TBD

Click here for more information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Patience Itson
Patience Itson
Articles: 1660