Montgomery, Ala (WRBL) – Despite not having enough COVID-19 vaccines, Alabama is now seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and this data is making state officials optimistic.
“This is one of the few times in the past year that we’ve felt really encouraged about what we’re seeing, we’re not just counting bad numbers all the time, we’re actually doing something to prevent disease,” says Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama’s State Health Officer.
Even with switching Presidential Administrations, Alabama is continuing on a positive trend of working through the logistics of getting folks the vaccine, but vaccine allotment continues to be a problem across the country and across the state.
While new groups like those 65 and older and teachers are now eligible to get the vaccine, Harris wants people to know the state is doing their best to continue to expand eligibility efforts.
“We’re not making a decision based on how important somebody is. We’re not trying to say you’re more valuable to society than another group is. It is not about what your value is, it’s a prioritization that’s made necessary because we don’t have enough to go around,” says Harris.
For those who aren’t eligible to receive the vaccine at the moment, Harris wants to remind Alabamians that fighting the virus can be still be done right now.
“It’s exactly what we’ve been saying for a year. If people can stay home or if they can’t stay home, put on a mask and try to stay six feet away from other people when you go out. That’s more effective than a vaccine, I mean that’s completely effective,” says Harris.
And while Harris says these numbers are encouraging, this does not mean the fight is over.
“We’re not out of the woods, but we know how to get out of the woods because we now have a plan in place right now that’s going to get us there,” says Harris.
Harris says more mass vaccination events are possible, as more vaccines become available.