WATCH: Dr. Scott Harris continues encouraging Alabama residents to get COVID-19 vaccine

Alabama News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Friday, Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris provided an update on the state’s fight against COVID-19, adding that while case numbers were down, there was still more work to do.

Harris said that as of Thursday, over 2.5 million shots had been distributed and that of the 1.5 million people who had received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, 1.1 million had been fully vaccinated statewide.

Harris said health care professionals were hard at work to promote the benefits of getting the vaccine, citing hesitancy statewide. Approximately 19.1% of Black Alabamians had received the vaccine while 55.7% of white residents had received it.

“We want to continue to push this message that there are some real tangible benefits to being vaccinated,” Harris said. “We want people to be vaccinated because this is how we get back to normal. This is how we can get to the point where we don’t have to wear masks and we don’t have to worry about distancing and we don’t have to worry about crowds. So we hope people will take note of that and that will be one of the reasons for them to want to get vaccinated.”

As of April 29, the Alabama Department of Public Health reports there are now 408,212 confirmed coronavirus cases across the state, in addition to 48,760 hospitalizations, and 8,586 confirmed deaths connected to the virus since the pandemic first began.

Harris also wanted to re-assure the public on the safety of the J&J vaccine. Use of it had been halted temporarily while experts examined a small number of reports of women developing potentially deadly blood clots.

“There’s about a one in half a million chance that you can have a complication but not a serious one.  We know for all people in Alabama though that 2 out of every 100 are going to die,” Harris said.

According to the ADPH’s newer COVID-19 vaccine distribution dashboard, over 3.8 million vaccine doses have been delivered to the state. As of April 29, nearly 2.5 million doses had been administered.

The full 10 a.m. briefing will be streamed in the video player above.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.