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COVID-19 vaccines will be available to local residents at the end of this month and will continue to be administered once a month through May, according to Roanoke Mayor Jill Hicks.

As part of the state's vaccine distribution plan, vaccines will be administered at no charge at the National Guard Armory in Roanoke starting Jan. 25. The vaccinations will follow the CDC's three-phase administration process, starting with phase one. That phase includes healthcare workers, first responders, the elderly living in nursing homes and "people of all ages with comorbid and underlying conditions that put them at significantly higher risk," according to CDC guidelines.

Depending on the number of doses and the level of demand for those doses among qualifying phase one people, the January date could allow for some phase two people to receive the vaccine.

Phase two includes a much broader portion of the population, but does not include young adults, children or people who work in lower-risk professions.

The vaccine requires two doses for full effect, and those doses should be 21-28 days apart depending on which vaccine is administered. To that end, vaccination dates at the armory will be spaced accordingly with subsequent dates taking place Feb. 22, March 22, April 19 and May 17.

The expectation is that by that May 17 date, people in all three phases will have had the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine, though that is subject to change depending on the supply and demand of available doses.

Details regarding time and the number of doses that will be available are still being worked out, and information will be finalized in the coming weeks leading up to the Jan. 25 date.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, as of Tuesday morning Randolph County has had 1,290 cases of COVID-19, with 30 of those cases resulting in fatalities.

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