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Vast majority of Alabamians hospitalized with COVID-19 haven’t gotten vaccine

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Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Everyday we’re seeing fewer and fewer masks and businesses lifting restrictions.

It may feel like things are returning to normal, but here’s something you may haven’t heard a lot about; people still being hospitalized for COVID-19 statewide.

1.6 million Alabamians have been vaccinated, out of that, 54 ended up in the hospital with COVID, but health leaders want to emphasize how rare this is.

”The vaccine is the real, best treatment out there to keep someone from having to come in the hospital for this,” Dr. Matthew Hanserd, vice chief of staff at Athens Limestone Hospital said.

Dr. Hanserd is still treating patients with COVID-19 Athens Limestone Hospital.

Right now, there are two patients in the ICU.

“We’re seeing people who are still high risk, who decided for whatever reason not to get the vaccine. And we’re seeing younger people who are just statistically unlucky. And so we’ve admitted people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who had gotten COVID recently and still had to be admitted to the hospital,” Hanserd explained.

He says the COVID vaccine is a very effective one.

“In a normal season, we use flu vaccine, it’s 30-40 percent effective. The Pfizer vaccine is 94-95 percent effective,” he said.

That’s why he encourages those who are hesitant to get the shot.

“Taking the vaccine is something that can keep you from having to be in the hospital, keep you from having to be in the ICU, keep you from possibly dying and not being able to be there for your family or your loved ones,” Hanserd said.

Looking statewide, there have been some people sent to the hospital after being fully vaccinated.

These are called vaccine breakthrough cases.

To date, the state has recorded 849. Out of those, 54 needed hospitalization.

“The overall number of cases hospitalized for COVID in Alabama, still are persons who are unvaccinated,” Dr. Karen Landers said.

Dr. Karen Landers with the state health department says it’s much riskier to not get it.

“The risk hasn’t changed and when you are infected in COVID, you can unknowingly expose at least 2-5 other people,” she said.

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