Congresswoman Terri Sewell has received national recognition for her work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by promoting vaccination.
Community health organizations in the 7th Congressional District presented Rep. Sewell with the Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease’s Squash Superbugs Award. The organization recognized Rep. Sewell’s COVID work as well as her support of efforts to address the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections.
“Rep. Sewell continues to be a strong proponent for vaccination Most of the Alabama counties listed as having more than half of residents fully vaccinated are in her district,” her staff states.
At the federal level, Sewell also is working to address future threats by supporting the PASTEUR Act, which will encourage the development of new medicines to fight the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant infections.
“We want to thank Rep. Sewell for helping to get vaccines out to our most vulnerable populations,” said Nanette R. Allen, interim chief executive officer at Birmingham-based Alabama Regional Medical Services, who helped present Rep. Sewell with the Squash Superbugs Award. “Combatting COVID-19 takes all of us doing our part, and Rep. Sewell’s leadership has played a huge role in helping communities across Alabama. Her work to combat antibiotic-resistant infections addresses a global threat that also must be confronted to prevent future tragedies.”
An estimated 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year and more than 35,000 people die as a result. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in the first year of the pandemic, there was a 15 percent increase in antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths overall in U.S. hospitals compared to the year before.
“We are so thankful for Rep. Sewell’s leadership over these past two and a half years. The pandemic challenged every single community in unique and different ways, and her help in getting our community vaccinated remains incredibly important,” said Keshee Dozier-Smith, chief executive officer of the Selma-based Rural Health Medical Program, who joined in the award presentation. “As we learn from this pandemic and consider other looming public health concerns, we cannot ignore the ever-growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Tackling this issue will take commitment from everyone in Washington, and we’re thankful that Rep. Sewell is supporting this issue as well.”
Rep. Sewell used the award as a platform to continue to promote the vaccine.
“I extend my sincere appreciation to the Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease for recognizing our efforts to raise awareness about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Rep. Sewell posted on Facebook and Twitter. “As we continue to battle this pandemic, I urge you to #GetVaccinated to protect yourself and others!”