State Health Officer says Alabama headed in right direction despite low vaccination numbers

Local News

MONTGOMERY, Ala (WIAT) – Although COVID-19 cases are down dramatically in Alabama, the state still lags far behind most of the country in vaccinations. But will that unwillingness by most Alabamians to get vaccinated lead to a resurgence of COVID cases? 

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says while he has some concern overall, he feels Alabama is headed in the right direction.

“The numbers of people in the hospital remain relatively low compared to where we’ve been, certainly back in January. And the number of deaths is stable, and stable at a very low number,” Harris said.

Dr. Harris does worry that the new delta variant of the coronavirus could potentially upend a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy.

“If you have a workplace, or when kids start getting back into school in a couple of months, you have big gatherings, events, social things where lots of people are getting together, I mean it’s inevitable you’re going to have outbreaks if you have unvaccinated people,” Harris said.

Alabama ranks just behind Mississippi in the percentage of its population fully vaccinated.

Dr. Harris says even those with just one vaccine shot have some immunity, and then there are those who have been infected and have natural immunity.

“But for every case we know about for infection, there are probably, one or two or three we don’t know about. So, we can easily have two or three million people who have at least some degree of protection on board,” Harris said. “Again, that’s not the ideal situation and it’s not perfect. We wish everybody was vaccinated.”

The biggest advice Dr. Harris says he has for anyone skeptical about vaccines is to simply seek their advice of their own doctor or medical professional.

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