A shot of hope for 2021

Looking ahead to 2021 in the COVID-19 pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A shot of hope is now being spread across the country in the form of COVID-19 vaccines. More vaccines are being developed which could speed up the process.

It is been a tough year to the say the least. Doctors say a dark road lies ahead in 2021 until enough people get vaccinated so you’ll still need to do the things health experts have been preaching since the pandemic began to slow the spread. Even though people continue to unfortunately die from COVID-19, Alabama’s death rate has declined since May going from nearly 4% to 1.4%. In other words, even though more people are getting infected, fewer people are dying according to Dr. Don Williamson who is a former state health officer and current head of Alabama’s Hospital Association.

Doctors attribute that to new COVID-19 medications and treatment protocols for patients, both in and out of the hospital. One of those is monoclonal antibodies treatment which the FDA authorized in late November. That treatment is given to people who are at high risk of developing complications and becoming seriously ill.

“Monoclonal antibodies and some of the other things that we’ve learned since March, April, May, July have gotten a significant number of people at home who otherwise would have been hospitalized and had it not been for the advances in care, the expansion of monoclonal antibodies, we probably would not be at 20 is 2600 now we’d be over 3,000,” Dr. Williamson said.

The mRNA technology being used in COVID- 19 vaccines could also be used to provide protection for multiple diseases according to the CDC. It’s also being used in cancer research.

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