ALABAMA (WRBL) – Alabama is officially the state with the lowest vaccination rate and now health officials across the state are teaming up to introduce a new initiative in the hopes that it will reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase the vaccination rate across the state.
The Alabama Hospital Association or AlaHA’s new movement is called “We Can Do This Alabama!”. The new movement hopes to decrease vaccine hesitancy among Alabamians. President of the Alabama Hospital Association Don Williamson said people are more likely to listen to people they trust when it comes to things like the COVID-19 vaccine verses health officials.
“The hope is that by people who have vaccine hesitancy being able to talk to people they trust we will increase the number of people that are vaccinated,” said Williamson.
The movement works by heading over to the We Can Do This Alabama! website where you can find COVID-19 vaccine facts and resources to help share with family members or friends who may be vaccine hesitant.
People can also pledge to be a local champion by talking to at least three people weekly about getting the vaccine and enrolling at least five people to do the same. Despite a decrease in cases countrywide new variants are causing concern making this movement even that much more important.
“We’re nowhere near where we were in July of last year or January of this year, but it’s not going in the right direction,” said Williamson. “We know the delta variant is here it’s certainly likely to become even more prevalent. It’s more infectious, so our best chance to end this horrific year and a half is to get everyone vaccinated and we could put this disease behind us.”
When AlaHA originally rolled out this initiative the research they used was that 94% of all hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the state of Alabama were unvaccinated people. Williamson said this statistic has probably changed most likely increase and is pointing to a new study out of Maryland.
“Out of the state of Maryland where they showed every death that occurred in the month of May due to COVID was an unvaccinated individual,” said Williamson. “There’s not a better testament to the effectiveness of this vaccine in preventing death and severe disease than showing how few people get seriously ill if they’ve been vaccinated even against the delta variant.”
Alabama’s vaccination rate sits just above 33%. For more information on this initiative you can head to the We Can Do This Alabama! website.