Getting vaccines to rural Alabama

Giving out more COVID vaccinations

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama doctors said more people are getting COVID 19 vaccines, including in rural areas of Alabama but a top UAB doctor says the state still has a long way to go and there is still a major problem of vaccine hesitancy.

UAB and the state health department are teaming up with local church and emergency medical facilities to provide shots, but when it comes to convincing people, it’s all about building trust.

Dr. William Curry, Associate Dean for Primary Care and Rural Health at UAB sys rural areas they are hurt by the lack of medical access and care.

“We see higher incidents of COVID infection in many of our rural counties. We see higher incidences of what we see in here in Jefferson County, Mobile or Montgomery,” Curry said.

More vaccines are becoming available and directed to rural areas will help. Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said about 30% of those polled in Alabama and in the country are saying no to shots but he is hoping for change.

“Vaccinated people can do this but unvaccinated people can’t do that, I think all of those things are going to bring people around to where they say now they don’t want it,” Harris said.

Convincing those who say no and to others who have doubts, Dr. Curry says building trust will be key.

“Mostly knowing somebody they trust has decided to do this and it has gone okay. That is what we find is most effective,” Curry said.

Curry said a poll done showed one third of the population totally against the shot. One third for it and one third on the fence. Harris said ad campaigns are being launched to show the vaccines are safe and work.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.