Mar. 19—Oxford Health Systems is opening a seven-day-a-week drive-through vaccination location, the organization announced Friday.
New groups eligible for vaccines
Starting Monday, people ages 55 and older and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, people age 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions are eligible, including but not limited to the following conditions:
— Chronic kidney disease
— Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; immunocompromised state
— Solid organ transplant
— Obesity, BMI greater than 30
— Sickle cell disease
— Type 1 and 2 diabetes
— Other medical conditions as determined by your medical provider
Also, critical workers in the following areas who were not already recommended for vaccination will be eligible:
— Transportation and logistics
— Waste and wastewater
— Food service (includes restaurant staff)
— Shelter and housing (construction)
— Finance (bank tellers)
— Information technology and communication
— Public safety (engineers)
Director Tom Dixon said Oxford Health recently acquired a pharmaceutical freezer, with plans to offer shots of the Pfizer vaccine. According to the city's website, appointments will be available Monday, although Dixon said the site could be up and running this weekend.
"They don't even have to get out of their car," Dixon said.
Oxford Health Systems is a health care authority created last year by the city of Oxford, after Oxford EMS ceased operation. The earlier EMS service had been plagued for months by financial troubles.
Dixon said Friday that his organization has 1,200 doses of the vaccine on hand, with a promise of 1,200 more to complete vaccination for people who get the first shot.
The plan is to offer shots from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week at the paramedic station at 12 Hamric Drive West, Dixon said. Patients can get the shot in their car, wait in the parking lot for the required 15 minutes and drive off.
Shots are by appointment, and Dixon expects to be able to offer 96 shots a day. He said he expects to have new vaccines available when the first 1,200 shots run out.
He said the organization is also seeking doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one shot. Even so, he said, it's not a good idea to wait for the vaccine you prefer.
"It doesn't matter which shot you're getting; just get one," he said.
Appointments will be open to anyone who qualifies even if they don't live in Oxford, Dixon said. Alabama so far has made vaccines available only to people 65 and older and members of certain professions, but starting Monday the state has expanded eligibility to people 55 and older and people in higher-risk jobs.
To set an appointment, click this link to visit Oxford Health's Eventbrite site.
Alternatively, you may email your name, age, address and phone number to email@example.com, and officials will reply with a link to the registration website.
Persons having difficulty getting registered online may call Oxford 311 at 256-241-4311.
Vaccines available in Hobson City: Shots of the Moderna vaccine will be available at the FEMA building near Hobson City's town hall from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, said Tina Lucas, marketing director for Quality of Life Health Services, which is offering the shots. To set up an appointment with Quality of Life, call 256-439-6404.
Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.