ADPH encouraging people to get vaccinated against known coronaviruses

Published 6:11 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

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The Alabama Department of Public Health is warning the public about concerns with a new coronavirus variant called Omicron.

According to Dr. Wes Stubblefield, ADPH medical officer, Northern and Northeastern districts, the World Health Organization classified a new coronavirus variant, B.1.1.529, as a variant of concern on Nov. 26. Stubblefield said the variant was first reported in South Africa and the CDC is working with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more about this variant and is continuing to monitor its path.

Stubblefield said no reports of the Omicron variant have been reported in the United States or Alabama. However, Stubblefield went on to say the original coronavirus and variants continue to circulate in Alabama.

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“The best way to protect yourself, your children, and your loved ones is to get vaccinated,” Stubblefield said. “The vaccines are safe and effective and provide a robust protection against the original virus and the variants currently in circulation in Alabama.”

Stubblefield said it remained important for people in Alabama to vaccinate against the original virus and its variants.

“The best way to protect everyone is to be vaccinated, including those people who have been infected previously with COVID-19,” Stubblefield said. Most hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 in Alabama are among unvaccinated people.

Stubblefield said all county health departments offer COVID-19 vaccine, but some locations do not have all three brands of vaccine available. County health departments offer age-eligible vaccine products at no charge to children and adults ages 5 and older, he said.

For children and adolescents 5 through 17 years of age, please check or contact the vaccine provider to see if the Pfizer vaccine is offered before scheduling an appointment.

Adults who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster shot two months after being vaccinated. For adults who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, boosters are available six months after completion of the primary series.

Please contact your county health department for availability.