Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville on Thursday implored the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the number of those seeking vaccines continues to decline statewide and across the U.S.
In a video tweeted out on Thursday Tuberville noted that more than 11,000 Alabamians have died from coronavirus.
“Thanks to the efforts of many getting their vaccine, we’re getting close to beating this thing. We’re on the one yard line, but we just need one more play to run it in,” Tuberville said. “You can help us get the win against COVID By getting vaccinated. These vaccines are safe, effective, and free. I got mine. It only takes a few minutes and let me tell you, it’s worth it.”
Getting the vaccine is safe, effective, and free. I got mine. And let me tell you, it’s worth it.
Vaccines have slowed the rate of hospitalization and death down dramatically – and we want to keep it that way. pic.twitter.com/LTs8S1grmU
— Senator Tommy Tuberville (@SenTuberville) June 10, 2021
The average daily number of vaccines administered in Alabama for the week ending Monday was 4,534. That’s a 56 percent decline from the previous week’s daily average and an 89 percent decrease from the state’s vaccination peak in April.
Dr. Suzanne Judd, an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told reporters on Thursday that it’s doubtful Alabama will reach herd immunity against COVID-19. Judd noted that just more than 29 percent of Alabamians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“With only 29.4 percent of Alabama’s population fully vaccinated, we’re playing a dangerous game of chicken with COVID-19’s continued impact on our future,” Judd said. “That’s not the road we need to travel on if we want to put an end to this pandemic.”
Judd noted that approximately 30 percent of Alabamians have some level of natural protection from COVID-19 due to recovering from the disease, but that natural immunity will run out.
“That 30 percent is providing a little bit of a buffer, in addition to the vaccine, to keep the virus from moving through the population,” Judd said. “But the folks that have antibodies from the infection, we know those antibodies may fade eventually, so we really need folks to continue getting vaccinated, so that in the fall we’re sitting right where we’re at now, with less than 2,800 cases every 14 days.”
Infectious disease experts for months have urged the public not to rely on natural immunity gained from recovering from COVID-19, because while infected with the disease, whether exhibition symptoms and aware they’re infected, or being symptom free and unaware they’re sick, a person can still infect others around them, who may become very sick, or die.
“This vaccine works. It’s safe. If you’re thinking of sitting on the fence, jump off,” Judd said.