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ADPH still encourages use of face masks

ADPH Still Encourages Use of Facial Coverings
Masks or other facial coverings are no longer a mandate under the Safer Apart order. ADPH still encourages the use of facial coverings, and reminds everyone that masks remain one of the most successful tools to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Many businesses and healthcare facilities continue to require facial coverings in their facilities.

Missed COVID-19 Vaccine Second-Dose Appointments
ADPH encourages everyone who had their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTechor Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to schedule their appointment for the secondary vaccine dose.  If an appointment is missed, it is important to reschedule it as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that if a delay occurs in the normal schedule for receiving a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be administered up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. The first dose of the vaccine starts the process of building up protection, but the second dose is needed to provide a stronger immune response.    

New CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Resources for Community-Based Organizations
The CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases has released new resources to support community-based organizations with COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The Guide for Community Partners (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/guide-community-partners.pdf) was created to assist organizations with community-level reach to get connected to COVID-19 vaccination confidence and access efforts and resources. CDC also released a two-page document, COVID-19 Vaccine Equity: Best Practices for Community and Faith-Based Organizations (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/best-practices-CBO-FBO.pdf), which provides best practices and examples of information and logistics.

At Least 35 Percent of 23 Alabama Counties’ Residents Vaccinated
Thirty-five percent or more of the residents age 16 and older of 23 Alabama counties have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to date. Successful public health efforts to achieve vaccine equity have resulted in higher vaccine uptake among African American residents of Black Belt counties. Counties where 35 percent or more of their residents have been vaccinated are as follows: Lowndes, Perry, Hale, Bullock, Wilcox, Jefferson, Marengo, Shelby, Greene, Madison, Colbert, Conecuh, Dallas, Lee, Tallapoosa, Sumter, Clarke, Lauderdale, Macon, Henry, Chambers, Montgomery, and Clay.Vaccines are one key to protecting the most vulnerable and helping stop the pandemic in Alabama.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Update
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on April 14 to discuss the recommended pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. ACIP did not put forth any formal recommendations during this meeting, and the pause continues at this time.  ACIP will meet on April 23 to further discuss the pause of use for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

National Guard COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Update
The Alabama National Guard continues to hold second-dose Pfizer vaccine clinics in under-served and rural counties throughout the state.  The second-dose clinics are being held in the same counties that were originally visited to offer first doses. Second-dose vaccination information can be found at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19vaccine/ng-clinics.html. Johnson & Johnson vaccine was not given at these clinics. Anyone who has not received a first dose is encouraged to contact his or her local county health department or visit www.alcovidvaccine.govto schedule a vaccine appointment.

COVID-19 Statistics to-date:

COVID-19 Cases—524,367
COVID-19 Deaths—10,807
COVID-19 Hospitalizations (as of April 20)—48,524
Currently eligible for vaccine—everyone 16 years of age and older
Average 1stDoses of Vaccine Shipped to Alabama Per Week—120,000-130,000
Vaccine Doses Administered—2,308,412
Vaccine Doses Delivered to Alabama—3,600,855
Alabama Healthcare Providers Enrolled—1,278