UAB begins COVID-19 vaccinations for ages 12 and over, sets closing dates for several community vaccination sites

UAB’s Sarah Nafziger, M.D., encourages those who have not received their COVID-19 vaccination to get it now before UAB’s sites close.

Editor's Note: The information published in this story is accurate at the time of publication. Always refer to for UAB's current guidelines and recommendations relating to COVID-19.



Video production: Laura Gasque, Steve Wood, Jeff Myers, Lexi Coon, Ryan Meyer and Andrea Mabry

All four of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s community vaccination sites are now open to administer vaccines to ages 12 and up after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off Wednesday for children ages 12-15 to begin receiving the Pfizer vaccine. Sarah Nafziger, M.D., vice president of Clinical Services at UAB Hospital, encourages everyone who has not received the vaccine to get it now — because UAB’s vaccine sites will be closing soon.

“Unfortunately, the demand for the vaccine has fallen off faster than we wanted it to, and it’s just not feasible for us to continue to operate these locations at our current scale,” Nafziger said of UAB’s efforts, which the organization has funded at $1.4 million a month. “We will continue to provide vaccines through a variety of outlets, including pop-up sites. We have delivered almost 200,000 vaccinations to Alabamians living in 62 of our 67 counties, and it has been an honor and a privilege to be welcomed into these communities so we could serve and try to do our part to end this pandemic. That said, this pandemic is not over. And not enough Alabamians have been vaccinated to ensure we can safely return to normal and officially put this pandemic behind us. I hope more will come to our sites while they are open or will use to find a location close to them to receive a vaccine.

Back, a line of people are standing beside white tents at the UAB COVID-19 Vaccination Site at Parker High School on February 10, 2021/.The Parker site will remain open until 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 18. Photography: Steve Wood“Shots in arms — that’s still the way out of this COVID-19 pandemic.”

Volume for first-dose vaccinations has dropped 75 percent in total at all of UAB’s community vaccination locations over the past five weeks.

While UAB’s community sites will be closing over the next several weeks, those receiving vaccines at one of our locations will be able to get their second dose through UAB at the UAB Hospital-Highlands drive-through. The public will also be able to receive first- and second-dose vaccines at the new UAB Injection Clinic, which opens Monday, May 17. The UAB Injection Clinic will be located at 539 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., in the former Regions Bank retail space at the corner of The Kirklin Clinic parking deck.

The vaccination site at the Hoover Met will close at 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 18, so preparations can be made for next weekend’s Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament. It will not re-open after the SEC Tournament.

Cathedral of the Cross AOH church in Center Point is currently scheduled to close at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 28. Parker High School is currently scheduled to close at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 18. UAB Hospital-Highlands will remain open for scheduled and unscheduled first- and second-dose vaccinations for now.

UAB will operate several pop-up sites as well over the months of May and June.

Covid 19 vaccination“On behalf of UAB, I want to thank everyone who has visited one of our locations to receive their vaccine. I also want thank the leadership in these communities for stepping up to provide safe, convenient, centralized locations where vaccines can be safely and efficiently administered,” Nafziger said. “Our staff and volunteers who have worked these locations in the cold, in the rain, in the heat and the wind also are to be commended. They have been the heartbeat of this operation since we began in January, and this critical work could not have been accomplished without them.

“It’s also important that I thank our leadership at UAB and the UAB Health System. When we proposed opening these vaccination sites that we believed met a critical need for Alabamians, they did not blink. They supported these efforts from the beginning and realized mobilizing these sites filled a key gap at a crucial time in the pandemic. My hope is that more people will continue to get these vaccines as long as we have these sites open so we can continue moving forward safely.”