ALABAMA (WRBL) – As of Aug. 20, 2021 Alabama has the lowest vaccination rate of all 50 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Now health officials are hopeful the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the vaccine will encourage more people to get vaccinated.
The full approval of the Pfizer vaccine comes about a week after the state of Alabama ran out of ICU beds due to the recent surge.
As COVID-19 cases across the state have continued to increase over the last several weeks, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and other medical and health officials like Alabama Hospital Association (alaHA) have been urging Alabamians to get vaccinated or at least consider talking to a trusted doctor about the vaccine.
ADPH’s Area Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers says she is hopeful the full Pfizer approval will help eliminate some worries for people who are vaccine hesitant and maybe increase the vaccination rate across the state because in her own words Alabama needs this approval to have an impact.
“We hope that this will have impact on our vaccine efforts here in the state,” said Dr. Landers. “We need for this to have impact because we are in a tremendous surge for COVID-19 in our state we certainly need for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Dr. Landers says it’s too early to tell if this approval has made any impact on administered vaccines. She says there is no telling they’ll be able to cite this approval as a cause if the state does see an increase in vaccines.
However she said the full approval gives needed answers to some who may have been vaccine hesitant which could lead to them now getting the vaccine.
“Well just having had the question posed to us in the Alabama Department of Public Health when will this be approved or the statement I’m not taking it until it’s approved,” said Dr. Landers. “Again for those people who are asking when it’s approved well now we have a product that’s approved and I’m not taking it until it’s approved, well now we have a products that’s approved.”