BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Questions about safety with the COVID-19 vaccine are still giving people pause around Alabama and still leading to hesitancy concerns according to state health leaders.
“Is it really safe? Do we know enough about it? Has it been out there long enough to say that it is?”
Those are just some of the concerns brought up in a recent survey by the Alabama Department of Public Health showing about a third of adults in Alabama are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary McIntyre tells us some people in the survey feel the vaccine was rushed.
“We’ve been addressing that since the beginning…to explain that none of the steps to ensure that its safe were skipped,” McIntyre said.
Another issue is the history of mistrust African Americans have in the medical community. But despite that, some of the Black Belt counties are leading the state right now with vaccinations. That’s because McIntyre says there’s been a concerted effort by the state to get the vaccine to the people who need it the most.
“We may have been a little slow out the gate, but we were right out the gate. We worked to make sure that were strategically getting it to those who are most vulnerable even though that people did not think that we were,” McIntyre said.
McIntyre is fully vaccinated and she’s strongly encouraging others to do the same.
“People are worried about, well what are complications of the vaccine? You are worrying about things that may not even occur when we know what the complications are of this virus and there were people who were able to work and take care of themselves and can no longer do it,” McIntyre said.
Demand for the vaccine continues to exceed supply in Alabama. State health leaders are continuing to ask for patience saying hopefully the supply will jump in the next few weeks.