With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging in Alabama and the state remaining the least vaccination in the U.S. the state’s medical community is asking mayors to get behind an initiative aimed at boosting vaccinations by 20 percent by Labor Day.
Thus far, 34 Alabama’ mayors have signed up for the We Can Do This Alabama Mayors’ Challenge, according to a press release from the Alabama Hospital Association.
“With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations dramatically increasing in our state, we are calling on everyone in a leadership position to help us fight this virus,” said Dr. Donald Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, in a statement on behalf of the We Can Do This Alabama Coalition. “At this point it is about sharing information on a personal level, encouraging those with hesitation to talk with their doctor and other vaccinated friends and family members. We know that our mayors are trusted and respected in their communities, and we are extremely grateful for those who are stepping up to help.”
The coalition’s website lists facts about COVID-19 and the vaccines, including that the average age of hospital patients with COVID is now 54, and the percent of those 35 and younger with COVID is 16 percent, double what it was in January.
Just 6 percent of Alabama’s ICU beds were available on Monday, with COVID-19 hospitalizations increasing 122 percent over the last two weeks.
Mayors can sign up by visiting the website and filling out a short form. The website has a comprehensive toolkit with resources to help promote the COVID-19 vaccine. Participating mayors are listed on the We Can Do This Alabama website.
Mayors who have signed up are:
- Terrence Windham (Aliceville)
- Bob Joslin (Arab)
- Curtis Stoudemire (Autaugaville)
- Bobby Scott (Center Point)
- Kathy Thomas (Clayton)
- William Cooper (Enterprise)
- Andy Betterton (Florence)
- Jacqulyn Boone (Fort Deposit)
- Deverick Williams (Gadsden)
- Vivian Covington (Hurtsboro)
- James Stewart, Jr. (Irondale)
- Gwendolyn Rogers (Linden)
- Joe Hughes (Locust Fork)
- Roger Weatherwax (Moulton)
- Mike Lockhart (Muscle Shoals)
- Tony A. White (Oak Grove)
- Gary Fuller (Opelika)
- Rusty Jessup (Riverside)
- Charles Murphy (Robertsdale)
- Jim Heigl (Sylacauga)
- Donna McKay (Wadley)
- Johnny Lee Ragland (Warrior)
We Can Do This Alabama is a collaborative effort between the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Hospital Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the Alabama Nursing Home Association, the Alabama Primary Health Care Association, the Alabama Chapter-AAP, the Alabama Council for Behavioral Healthcare, the Alabama State Nurses Association, and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama with the goal of increasing COVID-19 vaccinations in Alabama through a grassroots approach.