MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — CVS Health will begin offering vaccinations to protect against the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 at pharmacies in nine rural Alabama areas beginning Thursday as part of a program to boost immunization rates.
The stores will receive doses through a federal program, the company said. The expanded access should help boost vaccinations in a state that is trailing much of the nation in providing immunizations.
“We are truly in the midst of a historic vaccination rollout, and it will take strong partnerships like this to get the job done,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement released by the company.
People who are eligible under state rules to receive a vaccine can make appointments online for slots that will be available at stores in Union Springs in Bullock County, Lanett in Chambers, Jackson in Clarke, Evergreen in Conecuh, Greensboro in Hale, Moulton in Lawrence, Tuskegee in Macon, Bayou La Batre in Mobile County and Camden in Wilcox County.
Vaccines also are available at dozens of Walmart stores in the state plus sites including county health offices and clinics operated by hospitals and other health providers. CVS also has been helping vaccinate residents and workers at 140 nursing homes, assisted living centers and other long-term care centers in the state.
More than 790,000 people have received shots statewide, according to the Health Department, and about 225,000 have gotten both shots recommended for two-step Pfizer and Moderna doses.
The new immunization locations were announced with COVID-19 hospitalizations at their lowest point in Alabama since the fall.
After reaching a high of 3,084 on Jan. 11, the number of people hospitalized for the illness has declined almost daily to 762 on Tuesday. That was the lowest number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide since Oct. 4, when 759 were being treated before a surge in cases that worsened during the holidays.