Alabama doctors express COVID-19 concerns post-Fourth of July, coming weeks


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As Alabamians return from a fun Fourth of July weekend, doctors throughout the state believe there could be a rise in COVID-19 cases again.

Experts say they are seeing more and more cases of the Delta variant in the state, as well as more cases overall. Dr. Michael Saag with UAB says more and more younger people are getting the virus. He says a lot of younger adults aren’t getting vaccinated.

“We have 20-year-olds dying. We have 30-year-olds dying. And yes, it’s not terribly common, but it happens. And once you get the virus, the dye is cast,” Dr. Saag said.

If the vaccination rates remain low, Dr. Saag says the new variant of the virus will continue to spread.

“We are really in a race against the variants and the vaccines,” Dr. Saag said.

Dr. Saag says the new variant is considered the most transmissible variant of the virus.

“With the Delta variant, all you have to be is in the room with somebody who’s infected for one minute or less,” Dr. Saag said.

According to Dr. Saag, majority of the COVID deaths in May and June were people who weren’t vaccinated against the virus.

“10,000 deaths in the United States, 99.3% of the people who died in the United States were unvaccinated people,” Dr. Saag.

He says the vaccine is still the number one defense people have against the virus. And those who remain unvaccinated will still have a tough time with the new variant.

“It primes the immune system so that when it encounters a virus or perhaps a bacteria, the immune system is ready to fight,” Dr. Saag said.

President Joe Biden says there has been progress in the fight against the virus, but more shots are needed to help. For the President, along with doctors and other leaders believe the tools to end the pandemic are there.

“And it’s within our power to make sure it never does again,” Biden said.

But Dr. Saag says it’s up to everyone unvaccinated to use them.

“What we do about it from this point forward is really up to us,” Dr. Saag said.

Dr. Anthony Faucci says states seeing a rise in the Delta variant should consider masking and distancing again to limit spread; even to those who are fully vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.