Alabama is the least vaccinated state in the US; Gov. Kay Ivey weighs in

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 8:12 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and its impact is being felt the hardest in southern states. Alabama’s governor is not holding back. She’s got some strong words especially for those who are not vaccinated.

There are several reasons why less than 40 percent of Alabama residents have not gotten their COVID-19 shots. Despite their reasoning, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is now calling on “the unvaccinated folks”.

“I hate to see anybody suffer but particularly Alabamians who really want to be working and providing for their families,” said Gov. Ivey.

Whether hesitant or unable to get vaccinated, many Alabama residents are simply not getting the shot.

“I just don’t think I should get vaccinated with something I just don’t have any real insight on,” said Alabama resident, Taelor Wilson.

John Atkinson works at East Alabama Medical Center. He says one misconception about the COVID-19 virus is that it only affects old people.

“It’s not always an elder population. We’ve seen hospitalizations that are happening to people...30...40...50 years old,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson says around this time last year East Alabama Medical Center experienced its second peak of the pandemic. With hospitalization rates at the same rate they were July 2020, Atkinson says it’s alarming to have 23 COVID patients right now.

“We need to go back to a lot of the things that we were doing in the past that helped the numbers go down because this strain of COVID is highly contagious more so than the original strain,” explained Atkinson.

As for the demographic of people hospitalized, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says it’s mainly unvaccinated people.

“Folks supposed to have common sense, but it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” said Gov. Ivey.

With nearly all of the counties in Alabama now at very high risk for COVID-19, Governor Ivey is seriously encouraging residents to social distance and continue wearing their masks.

“The vaccine is available. It’s safe. It’s free. It’s easy to get and I just encourage everybody to get the vaccine and be safe,” continued Ivey.

The Alabama Department of Health says the Delta variant is 50 percent more transmissible than the other strains of COVID-19.

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