Anniston health leaders push for higher vaccination rates

Local News

ANNISTON, Ala. (WIAT) — According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the state has seen a slight uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations and positive tests coming back. Health professionals are once again echoing the importance of getting your COVID-19 vaccination to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The Anniston Regional Medical Center says they currently have three people hospitalized with COVID-19. Each of these patients has one thing in common, they are not vaccinated. That’s why health leaders are urging people to make time to receive a vaccine.

Back in May, doctors and nurses at the Regional Medical Center cheered as they had zero COVID-19 patients.

“Since February and March, our cases have plumed down. We really didn’t do anything, we didn’t find a cure the only thing we did was vaccinations,” said Dr. Raul Magadia.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health in Calhoun County, only 27% of the population is fully vaccinated and in order to reach full herd immunity, the county needs to be at 80%.

“Herd immunity is when a certain portion of the community achieves that level of immunity that you know most everybody would be protected, but we’re not even close to that,” said Magadia.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Magadia says the hospital is turning their efforts to local leaders to help get shots into people’s arms.

“We’re reaching out to small communities, were reaching out to churches, mosques all those small areas we say if you have ten people sign up to get vaccinated, we will come to you and get you vaccinated,” said Magadia.

“Everybody is trying to give the vaccine that’s how important it is,” said Dr. Angela Martin with the Pediatric Care Center of Northeast Alabama.

Dr. Martin and her team have vaccinated 1000s of people in the city of Anniston. But in recent weeks, her office has seen an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases.

“In this office, we are seeing Corona on a daily basis but it’s not attacking me thank god, it’s not attacking my age group, it is attacking those who are teenagers and those who are starting their first job or having finished high school 18 years and up, its from 18 years and up it’s attacking them,” said Martin.

If you still need to get vaccinated, the Regional Medical Center’s Tyler Center is offering vaccinations every Friday morning, no appointment is needed.

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