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Alabama medical officials weigh in on current pandemic phase, COVID case numbers

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT
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ALABAMA (WTVM) - A potential surge of COVID-19 cases could impact southern states this summer, including Alabama and Georgia.

Former White House COVID Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx made that warning over the weekend.

Her comment comes just days after the president’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, stated the U.S. was out of the pandemic phase.

Doctors with the Alabama Department of Health are happy to report lower case counts and hospitalization rates. However, they do believe low vaccination rates could leave us at risk.

“Currently, our case numbers are relativity low, especially where we were before.”

Alabama Department of Public Health District Medical Officer Dr. Wes Stubblefield says COVID is still infecting people in the community. Therefore, higher vaccination rates are needed to continue decreasing case numbers.

“We are watching to see if we see any increase in any cases with this new omicron sub-variant but so far, our numbers have maintained in a relatively good space and the number of hospitalizations have maintained low as well.”

Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris believes the state still can improve its vaccination rate.

“Just a lot of discussions need to be had and think through if you are trying to convince somebody to make a medical decision based on your giving them cash. There are questions about that who is going to be incentivized by that and who is not going to be. I think we have a lot more to consider before we take that step.”

Auburn University student Robert Williams says when the pandemic first started, he took all protocols seriously and says he got vaccinated as soon as he could. He says he’s done everything he can to keep himself safe and others around him.

“I think were pretty much done with it now. There is not a whole lot of cases now you don’t hear many of the students getting infected and those cases if they are, are mild.”

Stubblefield says 60% of Alabamians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 50% have received both doses. Just 20% have received the booster.

“We have vaccine-induced immunity, we have infection-induced immunity, and have have people who have had both like myself who’s had both covid and the vaccine which has produced very very good immunity. And covid hasn’t disappeared its still there its just in very low numbers.”

Health leaders also add you should take advantage of home testing kits to prevent spreading the virus if you are not feeling well.

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