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What’s driving the increase in vaccinations in Alabama?

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:32 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Health experts say the Delta variant is driving up demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. We are seeing it in the numbers nationwide and in Alabama.

Vaccinations are up in Alabama. Health care leaders are hoping that trend continues as the Delta variant continues to grip the state.

Health experts on a national level believe people are waking up to the fact that the Delta variant is making people, mainly the unvaccinated, sicker than before.

Right now the highly contagious variant has a grip on Alabama with most of our counties seeing high levels of community transmission.

Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health believes more people are finally realizing that COVID-19 is something not to take lightly.

“I think reality has set in that COVID-19 can still be a threat, and I think people have seen that. They’ve responded to it and they’ve started to protect themselves and protect their family members. I think that’s largely what’s driving it,” Willeford said.

Because the Delta variant is spreading quickly across the country, the CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an of high transmission.

In general, the CDC says you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.

Willeford says it’s hard to know if wearing face masks and other safety measures will become the norm if vaccinations keeping lagging. He says the focus now is on getting more shots into arms.

“The more people we get vaccinated, the higher the chances that we can be finished with COVID-19. We won’t have to worry about talking about masks anymore. We won’t have to worry about keeping distance from each other because we want to build up that immunity that makes the virus a mild thing,” Willeford said.

Even though vaccinations are up in Alabama, we have a long way to go. The state still has one of the highest positivity rates in the country at just over 22 percent.

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