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Delta variant continues to spread in Alabama

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:33 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama continues to lag behind much of the country when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations. Only around 30% are fully vaccinated.

This is a big concern which it comes to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus. Alabama health leaders continue to say you should get those shots. They said the Delta variant is spreading more in the country and here in Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting about 13 cases of the Delta variant detected in the state.

“They have been seen in places throughout the state. It makes us think there is a lot more than we have been able to detect. We are not doing widespread genomic sequencing at this point, even though we are doing it when we have the opportunity,” said Dr. Scott Harris with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

UAB is one of eight testing clinics for the contagious variant. Dr. Harris said so far the number of COVID cases are under control, but he believed that could all change if more people don’t get vaccinated within the state.

“We are going to have events that take place where you have groups of people. If you have unvaccinated people, you are going to have people at risk,” Harris said.

Harris said the current vaccines work against the Delta variant. While COVID numbers did not surge after the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Harris said a major surge may not happen, but spikes in numbers could happen later this summer and when kids return to school.

“We know what to do. We know to get people vaccinated, but if you have a lot of unvaccinated people and you have a strain that is easy to spread, you are going to see more of it,” Harris said.

The latest variant numbers form UAB showed:

Alpha 351

Beta 1

Gamma 6

Delta 6

The Delta numbers doubled in about two weeks.

Harris says nationally, Alabama has climbed somewhat in vaccination numbers, but it’s still too low. Harris says the best way to get over the vaccination hesitancy is talk to your doctor or someone you know and trust about the vaccines.

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