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One year anniversary of healthcare workers getting COVID vaccine in Alabama

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 8:14 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - This week will be the one year anniversary of Alabama healthcare workers getting some of the first COVID-19 vaccines. How has it gone and how are things going with getting those boosters?

A big number of healthcare workers in Alabama have gotten those vaccinations. A number are getting those booster shots, but health leaders said more need to get them.

At UAB, school officials say about 90% of their healthcare workers have been vaccinated. Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said across the state, they have seen a pretty good response. “Your physicians. People working in ICU’s, nurses and staff. Those populations are really highly vaccinated,” Harris said.

Booster shots are now available. The Alabama Department of Public Health reported they are seeing a number of these healthcare workers getting the boosters, which are now seen as a way to increase the antibodies against COVID. Latest studies show the vaccines wanes after about six months.

“Most of the healthcare providers who got the vaccine early would be first in line for the booster shots. Not only protection for themselves and their patients because they were the first on board, the early adopters,” said Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the ADPH.

Not all healthcare workers are on board with the vaccinations. Several UAB healthcare workers walked off the job in protest earlier this year in protest of a mandate to get the vaccine. Dr. Harris says some just balk at getting vaccinations.

“A lot of it is misinformation. We allow people to make their own medical decisions and many times, people make bad medical decisions,” Harris said.

A federal judge has issued a ban on vaccinate mandates across the state. UAB and other hospitals have dropped their vaccine mandate until the matter is litigated. Dr. Harris said they will continue to put out facts about the vaccine and encourage others to consult with their doctors.

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