Harris: About 70% of Ala. needs COVID-19 vaccine to reach herd immunity

Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 at 7:31 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State Health Officer Scott Harris said about 70% of Alabamians need to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity.

“The number that’s thrown out most often by epidemiologist is somewhere around 70%,” Harris said. “If you have enough people who are immune, then even when a case pops up, that case doesn’t go anywhere. It’s a dead end.”

About 80% of Alabamians are eligible for the vaccine after state leaders expanded eligibility to those 16 and older beginning Monday.

“To stop this disease from being passed around in the community. You know, it’s just upended everybody’s lives in so many ways,” Harris said.

Harris said they expanded eligibility because there were more open appointments and vaccine doses available.

“We have more providers with vaccine now than we have ever had before, at any given time,” he said. “So there’s a lot of availability out there, and we just encourage people to take advantage of that.”

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