Dr. Scott Harris discusses COVID-19 vaccination rates in Alabama, potential vaccine lotteries

October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As Alabama continues to lag behind a majority of the country in COVID-19 vaccination rates, health experts are both expressing their concerns while trying to find ways to make vaccines more accessible to the public.

During an interview with CBS 42’s Andrea Lindenberg Thursday morning, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris discussed the declining interest in Alabamians getting vaccinated.

“We’ve definitely seen a fall off in the demand for vaccines and it really happened almost overnight,” Harris said. “I would say it wasn’t unexpected. We knew that as we increased our supply, we were going to see some decrease, but really after about the second or third week of April, we suddenly had much more vaccine on hand than people were willingly to take, so we are trying very hard to convince more people that we still have three safe and effective vaccines. We really do need everybody to be vaccinated if we’re going to get Alabama back to normal.”

In addition, Harris discussed the interest in vaccine lotteries that cities like Birmingham are considering. While saying that that would have to be a question decided by Attorney General Steve Marshall, there are other incentives being offered for more people to get vaccinated.

“I think there are plenty of incentives that are certainly allowed and we’re doing our best to do that,” he said. “We’ve put into place Tiktok contests for kids that want to get vaccinated. We’ve had people associated with businesses that are giving out gas cards and gift cards and cards that retail establishments. We’ve talked to some of our sports team in the state about offering some type of inducement  or incentives there. I think there are a lot of things that we can do even if we might necessarily be able to do a lottery.”

Watch the full interview here.

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