The Alabama Department of Public Health’s focus with the grant is to reduce the burden of COVID-19 among populations disproportionately affected and who are at higher risk of exposure, infection and hospitalization and mortality; as well as focus on communities having disproportionate rates of chronic diseases that increase the severity of COVID-19.
A panel of experts covered topics including vaccine access, equity, hesitancy, and education, especially as it relates to rural and underserved communities. That panel ranged from experts in the medical field, a faith-based leader, and a minority health advocate. But the questions from viewers focused more on their personal medical concerns.
The panel and discussion will include topics such as vaccine hesitance throughout Alabama communities and the infrastructure, geographic and socioeconomic barriers impacting rural and underserved communities’ abilities to equitably access COVID-19 vaccinations.
For the past month, a National Guard strike team has been working with the Jefferson County Department of Health and its partners to educate businesses and provide information about the vaccine at different community events.
Alabama continues to lag behind much of the nation when it comes to vaccinations. Some of that vaccine hesitancy may come from people who need questions answered about the vaccine. But what do you do if you don’t have a doctor to ask those questions?
President Parker’s plan includes a one-time $500 gift card or savings bond for 175,000 residents who have and will be vaccinated. The plan also includes college scholarship opportunities to encourage younger people to get the shot, as well as two drawings for up to $1 million.
The Hiers family has personal experience with myocarditis. Their 16-year-old was diagnosed with the condition following his second COVID-19 shot. But they said despite this scare, they still would recommend the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone, including children.
We’re now moving into a different phase of vaccinations according to Dr. David Kimberlin, an infectious disease doctor at Children’s of Alabama. Kimberlin believes more physicians are going to have one-on-one conversations with patients trying to encourage them to get a shot.