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City leaders reminded Birmingham that the pandemic isn’t over during a press conference on August 2, 2021. Just under 37% of Jefferson County is fully vaccinated for COVID, and they think that’s not enough. Keep reading for more on the state of the pandemic in Birmingham.
COVID update addresses lagging vaccinations
City leaders spoke with a sense of urgency in their latest COVID-19 update on August 2. They revealed 1,132 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Jefferson County according to Jefferson County’s COVID Dashboard.
To address this rise in cases, city leaders are beginning new vaccination campaigns.
“At this point, we’re in a race against time. So we’re reaching out to everyone to say please, please, please go get vaccinated. This is about life and death at this point. Starting this week, we’ll be running public service announcements on various radio stations, we’re doing robo calls. You know, we’re throwing the kitchen sink at COVID-19.”William Parker, President, Birmingham City Council
The Legions Field mass vaccination site will also reopen on Tuesday, August 3. It will be open from 10AM-6PM every Tuesday and Wednesday going forward.
To encourage vaccination, people who get a dose at Legions Field could be eligible for free concert tickets.
Also, the City of Birmingham is carefully watching vaccine campaigns coordinated by Gadsden, Alabama and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). Gadsden is giving $100 to every person who gets vaccinated while ADPH is running a TikTok contest.
According to City Council President Parker, Birmingham could use a campaign similar to one of these.
Enlisting community leaders
Birmingham Council President William Parker is enlisting service-minded community members in his latest efforts. They’ll be featured in upcoming public service announcements and press conferences.
Members of sororities like Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta spoke at the COVID-19 update press conference today. They’re making vaccination campaigns central to their community service.
In addition, health leaders spoke at the COVID update. They emphasized that the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective against all variants of COVID. Medical officers also stated that the vast majority of COVID hospitalizations and deaths are occurring in unvaccinated people.
“We strongly recommend that all registered nurses, health care workers and the public be vaccinated against COVID-19. There’s a significant clinical evidence on the safety and effectiveness of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines being administered under the Food and Drug Administration, emergency use authorization process.”Dr. Lindsay Harris, President, Alabama State Nurses Association
Furthermore, medical professionals emphasized that COVID-19 will affect minorities the most if vaccination rates don’t rise.
“Only 5% of Hispanics in Alabama have been vaccinated thus far. The industries that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic are those in which Latinos are mostly employed. What does this mean for our communities? This means that we are at risk not only to contract COVID-19, but we are four times more likely to be hospitalized and three times more likely to die of COVID-19.”Grace Grau, Founding President, Alabama chapter of National Association of Hispanic Nurses
The pandemic is far from over in Birmingham. Hopefully, the city’s latest vaccine campaigns can raise vaccination rates.