ADPH pushes back Troy’s vaccine distribution

( Photo / Zenith Shrestha )

Troy University continues to wait for vaccines after larger schools were given shots in the first week of January.

Brady Talbert

Staff Writer

Troy University’s wait to receive COVID-19 vaccines continues, after the Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed the school could see doses this week. Now, the ADPH has pushed the date back further. 

“We received an email from ADPH this afternoon that we will not be getting the vaccines as quick as they thought we would,” Dean of Student Services Herb Reeves said on Tuesday. “We are waiting on a confirmation date for delivery. 

“Once we get that we will begin gearing up for the clinics.”

The Tropolitan reached out to the ADPH to see why institutions such as Auburn University and the University of Alabama were given the shots in the first week of January, with Auburn telling us it is vaccinating its “faculty, staff and students.” 

After five days, the ADPH responded. 

“All entities who plan to provide COVID-19 vaccine have to be ImmPRINT providers with verification of factors such as ability to maintain the cold chain for vaccine, among other requirements,” Dr. Karen Landers said. “Some universities were already ImmPRINT providers with cold chain storage capacity.”

Dr. Lance Tatum, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and chair of Troy’s Coronavirus Task Force, said the university has the refrigeration necessary to store the vaccine and will be ready to distribute within a day of receiving doses. 

The state is currently limiting the shots to “healthcare providers, nursing home residents, law enforcement officers, firefighters and persons age 75 and older,” with people 65 and up and other “critical workers” qualifying on Feb. 8. 

Despite this, Auburn told the Tropolitan it is operating under the “university’s internal prioritization plan” to vaccinate its campus community, with ADPH telling WDHN last week it was investigating Auburn’s vaccine distribution model. 

WDHN reported Auburn was given permission to give the vaccine to additional groups, such as students, depending on the uptake. This was contrary to the ADPH statement previously released saying the Infectious Diseases and Outbreaks Division was looking into Auburn for “not following the state plan,” according to WDHN.

ADPH told the Tropolitan vaccine distribution points are to adhere to the state’s plan then “move forward in phases” after evaluating “uptake within at-risk populations,” as some locations are “serving large groups, even within their own work community.”

“If ADPH receives complaints of providers vaccinating those outside of the Allocation Plan, ADPH contacts each entity and discusses the importance of adhering to the plan,” Landers concluded. 

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