The Alabama Department of Public Health has announced expanded eligibility for vaccination against the novel Coronavirus.

In a Friday release, the ADPH said that the state will move into Phase 1c of its vaccination plan beginning Monday, March 22. The move into 1c allows for additional frontline workers to be vaccinated as well as those aged 55 and older and those with physical or intellectual disabilities.

“We have been concerned that many people at high risk and others engaged in close contact work have not been eligible to receive the vaccine yet, but with the additional vaccine supply we are better able to meet the needs of Alabama residents,” Governor Ivey said. “Starting March 22, individuals can be assured of receiving the shots they have been patiently waiting to get.”

Alabamians diagnosed with certain chronic illnesses will also be eligible to receive the vaccine. Those between the ages of 16 to 54 with the following high-risk conditions may receive the vaccine in the Phase 1c rollout:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; immunocompromised state
  • Solid organ transplant
  • Obesity, BMI greater than 30
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 1 and 2 diabetes
  • Other medical conditions as determined by your medical provider

Additional frontline workers defined in Phase 1c include:

  • Transportation and logistics
  • Waste and wastewater
  • Food service (includes restaurant staff)
  • Shelter and housing (construction)
  • Finance (bank tellers)
  • Information technology and communication
  • Energy
  • Legal
  • Media
  • Public safety (engineers)

The ADPH plans to host several vaccination clinics in the coming weeks as the move into Phase 1c includes approximately 2 million Alabamians.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.