Vaccination update and concerns

Vaccination rollout in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise across the country, vaccination rates are starting to increase here in Alabama.

Today UAB’s Chief of Hospital talked about vaccinations and her concerns. As of today the state of Alabama has vaccinated more than 87,000 people, many getting their second doses.

Getting enough vaccine is still a problem in Alabama, but there is renewed hope with word that US Health and Human Services is recommending dipping into reserves of vaccine for second doses to get more people vaccinated quickly.

At UAB the process is doing well according to Dr. Kierstin Kennedy. Most of those invited to get the shots are taking up the opportunity. Some are now getting in line after seeing other healthcare workers get the shot, while a small percentage are still taking a wait and see attitude.

Dr. Kennedy said the most frustrating thing about vaccinations is the misinformation on social media. “It is overwhelming the amount of misinformation that is out there. There is also a fair amount of misinformation from healthcare providers that don’t take care of COVID patients or not involved in immunization research that are speaking to it and not providing entirely accurate information,” Dr. Kennedy said.

Dr. Kennedy said their number of COVID patients has dropped recently at UAB. She admits that while there is hope that some of the holiday surge may be easing, seeing the Alabama football championship celebration causes concerns that those numbers may jump again.

Dr. Kennedy said there is also renewed hope that more people can get vaccine shots sooner than most expected. “We were thinking it may be late spring but now we think it may be a lot sooner than that,” Dr. Kennedy said.

Dr. Kennedy said the more people who get vaccinated, the sooner they can slow the spread of the pandemic.

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