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Vaccinations pick up pace, but COVID hospitalizations hit new record Monday

There were 3,088 hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide Monday, a 174 percent increase over the last month.

A provider prepares to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient. (VIA UAB)

Last week another 44,328 Alabamians received COVID-19 vaccinations, a 71 percent increase from the week before, and a sign that the pace may be picking up, as state public health officials have said it would as more entities begin administering the life-saving inoculations. 

Rising vaccinations are welcomed news as Alabama hit yet another COVID-19 hospitalization record on Monday, and during the two weeks ending Sunday, the state saw more new cases added than during any previous two-week period since the start of the pandemic. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health’s vaccine dashboard, which updated on Mondays, shows a total of 87,131 vaccine doses administered as of Saturday. The state also received 45,675 more doses of the vaccines last week, bringing the total to 271,925. 

There were 3,088 hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide Monday, according to ADPH, which was an increase of 174 percent over the last month. Alabama’s ICU beds were at 92 percent capacity on Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Alabama added 2,100 new cases on Monday, and on Sunday hit a record average of 4,281 new cases each day over the last week. 

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The average positivity rate in Alabama over the last 14 days was 44 percent. Public health experts say that rate needs to be below 5 percent or cases are going undetected. 

Despite increasing vaccination numbers, Alabama is one of just nine states with fewer than 2,000 vaccinations per 100,000 residents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

ADPH on Jan. 8 opened a statewide hotline for qualifying people ages 75 and older, law enforcement officers, firefighters and health care workers to make appointments with county health departments to receive vaccinations beginning Jan. 18,  but in its first day, ADPH received 1.1 million calls, overwhelming ADPH’s ability to handle the calls and prompting the department to tweet that ADPH was “rapidly adding staff to assist callers and appreciate your patience.” 

“The demand for COVID-19 vaccine continues to exceed supply as Alabama has more than 326,000 healthcare workers and nearly 350,000 people who qualify for a vaccine because they are 75 years old and older,” ADPH said in a statement Monday. 

“While trying to address the needs of Alabamians in the currently identified groups, ADPH is working to improve COVID-19 vaccine scheduling capabilities by creating an online registration portal in addition to its toll-free hotline,” ADPH’s statement continues. 

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ADPH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Hotline number is 1-855-566-5333. For those living in 12 Northeast Alabama counties, there are additional numbers to call to set an appointment for a first dose of the vaccines. 

  • Blount County: 205-274-2120
  • Calhoun County: 256-240-7857
  • Cherokee County: 256-927-1908
  • Clay County: 256-396-6421
  • Cleburne County: 256-463-2296
  • Dekalb County: 256-845-8710
  • Etowah County: 256-569-8150. 
  • Randolph County: 256-863-3453
  • Shelby: 205-685-4190
  • St. Clair: 205-812-7703
  • Sylacauga: 256-249-3807
  • Talladega: 256-362-2593
Eddie Burkhalter
Written By

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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