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Russell County couple warns COVID-19 pandemic is not over

With the health state of emergency set to expire in Alabama, some may think the threat of COVID-19 is over. One Alabama man warns it is not.
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:32 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -With the health state of emergency set to expire in Alabama, some may think the threat of COVID-19 is over. One Alabama man warns it is not.

Thomas Ray, tells News Leader 9 he’s feeling much after contracting COVID-19 even after he was vaccinated. According to the 80 year old Phenix City pastor, his case might’ve been worse if he wasn’t vaccinated and encourages more people across the state to look into getting the shot. Ray told News Leader 9, he and his wife Margaret were vaccinated for COVID-19 in January. According to Ray, just a few weeks ago, on June 23rd they contracted the same virus they were trying to protect themselves from.

“I didn’t think I’d get it but out of these people walking around out there who don’t have the shot, somebody gave it to me,” said Ray. “And they said, we gave you everything we can give you but you just gone have to let it run its course.”

The public health emergency is set to expire in Alabama with no indication it will be renewed by Governor Ivey, although the Alabama Department of health identifies one third of the state’s counties are at risk for moderate to severe COVID outbreaks.

“Please know that the CDC and even the vaccine manufacturers have shown that most people who get the vaccine are protected against the COVID-19,” said Tim Hatch, assistant coordinator for the East Central District of the Department of Health. “Alabama continues to be on the bottom of vaccine uptake so we’re still trying very hard to get our citizens vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Ray still advises people to get the shot, even after contracting the virus himself. He believes a combination of the vaccine, vitamins, and a higher power is the reason he’s alive and well today. He told News Leader 9, things could have been worse if he had not already gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s just something we got to work out and trust God with. You don’t know what you gone have, and the thing about it, your body chemistry is going to react different to somebody else’s body chemistry,” said Ray.

Alabama Health Department Officials told News Leader 9 they’re moving towards accepting walk in appointments to encourage more people to get vaccinated. For more information click here.

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