Athens-Limestone Hospital personnel urge vaccinations as COVID-19 surges statewide

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. — The leadership of Athens-Limestone Hospital is urging the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the virus surges across the state of Alabama.

In an open letter posted to Facebook, the hospital says its seen a high percentage of admissions for unvaccinated people, who face long-term complications if they survive the virus, or worse, die from their infections.

Athens-Limestone Hospital reports that a large majority of its staff has already been vaccinated and notes all COVID-19 vaccines are 92% to 95% effective in fighting the virus.

“For the last 200 years, vaccines have enabled us to defeat or at least control devastating diseases like polio, smallpox, measles, mumps, and more recently influenza, pneumonia, and shingles,” the letter read. “Studies indicate the COVID-19 vaccine to be our best defense when augmented with safe behaviors such as social distancing and masking.”

The letter was signed by hospital’s President Traci Collins, Chairman Camilla Gaston, former President Paul Fry, MD, Secretary Crystal Walker, MD, Medical Staff President Jon Bignault, and Vice President Matthew Hansard, MD.

As of Thursday, August 12, Limestone County had a 22.9% positivity rate for COVID-19 infections. More than 11,000 people have tested positive for the virus in the county since March 2020 with 164 deaths.

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