MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — News 19 joined broadcasters across the country in a COVID-19 vaccine National Day of Action June 4, joining the push by the White House to get 70 percent of American adults vaccinated by the Fourth of July.
Medical experts across the country and in north Alabama agree that even though infection rates are down, more people gathering this summer and fall could change that – if those unvaccinated stay denying their shots.
Currently, the majority of north Alabama counties each sit below one-third of all adults receiving at least one dose.
“The problem is (this disease) is a coronavirus,” Central North Alabama Health Services’ Annemarie Witmer said. “It’s going to continue to mutate, because that’s what coronaviruses do. That’s why there’s no cure for the common cold. Because it continues and it’s going to keep going on.”
Whitmer points to CDC research that suggests vaccine antibodies offer stronger and longer protection against the mutant strains of COVID-19.
“It’ll also help people from getting as sick as they could have gotten if they get the COVID disease itself.”
But Witmer says without the vaccine, you don’t have that protection.
“I encourage people if they’re afraid of the Pfizer and the Moderna, get the Johnson & Johnson. It’s made similar to other vaccines you’ve already had. You’ve been through it. You’ve gotten them done. You were fine, you know? And there are also concerns from some folks who morally don’t feel like right to get the vaccine. I would encourage them to think about it and pray over it because it’s not morally wrong to protect yourself and your loved ones from being vaccinated.”
Pharmacies and local health departments continue to provide all three COVID-19 vaccines to the Tennessee Valley, with kids as young as 12 approved for the Pfizer vaccine.
Not to mention, there are plenty of payoffs offered to those who get it done.