Phenix City Mayor urges citizens to get vaccinated

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FILE – In this April 8, 2021 file photo, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a pop up vaccination site in the Staten Island borough of New York. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is allowing the problem-plagued factory of contract manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions to resume production of COVID-19 vaccine bulk substance to resume, the company said Thursday, July 29. The Baltimore factory was shut down by the FDA in mid-April due to contamination problems that forced the company to trash the equivalent of tens of millions of doses of vaccine it was making under contract for Johnson & Johnson. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL)- On Friday, Mayor Eddie Lowe, Dr. Ritu Chandra, and the Russell County Commissioner, Chance Corbett, held a Facebook live to encourage the citizens of Phenix City and Russell County to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

“We had Dr. Chandra, as well as Chance Corbett, the Chairman of the Russell County Commission. Due to the fact that Alabama is the lowest in the nation, Russell County, which Phenix City is in Russell County, it’s the lowest in the state,” Lowe said.

Alabama’s Department of Public Health reports 18% of Russell County residents are fully vaccinated, while 24% have received at least one dose. Due to low vaccination rates, Mayor Lowe and other city officials are strongly encouraging citizens in Phenix City and Russell County to get the vaccine.

Mayor Lowe told News 3 he’s begging citizens to get their shots.

“We’re begging and pleading that people go out and get vaccinated within Phenix City and Russell County. It’s not about politics, it’s not about Democrats or Republicans, it’s about people and what we did is just put a plea out to encourage people. Based on the situation that we’re in as a county as well as a city, state and country, that we want to strongly encourage people to go out and get vaccinated,” Lowe said.

Lowe said that we must look at the data and listen to the scientists and the doctors. The mayor wants citizens to know he’s not forcing them to take the vaccine, but this is a plea to get vaccinated.

“It’s mission-critical that we go out and encourage people to do the right thing, for the sake of others,” Lowe said.

Lowe told News 3 this is a fearful time.

“Well, you have to be fearful with what all we’re hearing based on the data. I think and I’m hoping that the majority of the people in this country, particularly in Phenix City and Russell County, look at the data, understand the data and see the data. Hopefully, we can get up to about 70% of the population, get the vaccination to start heard immunity,” Lowe said.

News 3 asked Lowe if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, would there be a possibility of another lock-down for Phenix City and Russell County.

“The most important thing is to protect, to look at safety. So, that supersedes any of those things, were going to do whatever we have to do for the safety of our citizens. When you’re talking about safety and lives, that has to come first,” Lowe said.

The Mayor wants the community to take the virus seriously and help stop the spread by getting the vaccine and by wearing masks.

“I want to strongly encourage, I don’t want anybody to take it wrong, here I am trying to force people to do it. But I am strongly encouraging, begging and pleading that you go get vaccinated. As we’ve seen we were all hoping, this time this year, that this would suppress us. Based on what we went through last year and now it’s worse than what it was last year, I want to strongly encourage. I want to take the politics out of it, whatever party you’re on out of it, we want to look at the lives of people,” Lowe said.

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