December 20, 2021

State of Alabama
Press Release: Public Health, Alabama Department of

For a happy and healthy 2022, take COVID-19 precautions during the holidays


CONTACT: Wes Stubblefield, M.D., (256) 340-2113

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) continues to urge all eligible Alabamians to be vaccinated for COVID-19, preferably with the mRNA Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, follow mitigation measures, stay home if they are sick, and get tested if they are ill or have a known exposure to COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it has endorsed updated recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the prevention of COVID-19. ACIP recommended a warning about the increased risk of very rare but severe blood clots after administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to the primary vaccine series, ADPH encourages everyone to get vaccinated and receive booster doses when eligible. Vaccinated individuals are advised to get a booster shot as soon as they are eligible—6 months after the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or 2 months after one shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Vaccine is widely available in locations throughout the state. The ACIP reaffirmed that receiving any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Being consistent in maintaining good COVID-19 prevention habits in addition to vaccination remains important. Ways to protect yourself include wearing a well-fitting mask in indoor public places, isolating yourself or family members when sick, seeking medical attention if concerned about being infected, washing hands frequently, and ensuring good ventilation.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “During this joyous holiday season, keep the health and safety of all Alabamians, especially people of advanced age, those with underlying risk factors, and young children in your family and community in mind by following COVID-19 prevention measures. Regrettably, the 2020 holiday season ended with a surge of COVID-19 illnesses and deaths.”

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested with a nasal test. If you have been exposed to COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, wait at least 3 to 4 days after exposure before getting tested. ADPH recommends testing as a PCR (nasal swab) test only. Blood tests for antibodies are not currently recommended for determining illness status.

After persons are tested for COVID-19, they should go home to self-isolate and remain there until their results are reported to them by their healthcare provider. They are not to go anywhere other than home. If a person is being tested for COVID-19 and hospitalized, he or she will be in isolation prescribed by the facility's Infection Control Office. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and ADPH.

Whether an individual is a case or close contact, they should complete isolation/quarantine instructions before going back to work. In addition, they must be completely fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications.

The ADPH COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard and COVID-19 Table provide a list of testing sites. These facilities have reported that they are collecting specimens for COVID-19. The list and dashboard map may not reflect all collection sites in Alabama. It is recommended that you call the testing site for additional information before visiting.

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County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.

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