BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the country becomes hopeful a new COVID-19 vaccine could be happening by the end of the year, the infectious disease is still increasing including here in Alabama.
Alabama Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said he is hopeful about the vaccine news but he said the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases are still increasing. He believes those number will continue to go up unless more Alabamians take those safety steps seriously.
Alabama has more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases. The state continued to see about a thousand positive cases a day in the state.
“I feel like we are still seeing numbers that are elevated compared to where they were two or three weeks ago. We’ve had one of our highest hospitalizations we have seen since mid August.” Dr. Harris said.
Those hospitalization stand at more than a thousand across the state. Hospitals can handle it so far but Dr. Harris has concerns those numbers could get worse in the coming weeks with cold weather forcing people inside and the holidays.
“The general explanation is people are not doing as good of a job as in the past of protecting themselves. People are tired of this whole thing and they want to get back to normal activity,” Harris said.
Harris was encouraged by the latest news that Pfizer Pharmaceuticals has developed a vaccine with 90% effectiveness against COVID 19.
“The phase A-one priority group would be our health care workers and those most affected to maintain that critical healthcare structure,” Harris said.
Dr. Harris hopes the promise of the vaccine would encourage people to stick by their safety steps until the vaccine is available to everyone. As for the possibility of a new Coronavirus Task Force from President-Elect Joe Biden, Harris said bringing uniformity for safety measures across the country would be a big help in slowing the spread of the disease also until the vaccine is ready.