People 30 to 50 years old have lowest vaccine rates, according to health officials

Health officials say the bulk of COVID-19 cases are occurring in unvaccinated individuals.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Health officials say the bulk of COVID-19 cases are occurring in unvaccinated individuals.

“The most important thing is, this pandemic can turn again in the Fall and you want to be on the side of being vaccinated if that virus starts circulating rapid again,” Dr. Judd said.

Dr. Suzanne Judd, with UAB’s school of public health, said with the current vaccination rate, it is unlikely Alabama will reach herd immunity because the state does not have enough people pursuing the vaccine. To reach that immunity, she said 70 percent of the state needs to be vaccinated and right now the state sits just under 30 percent of people who are fully vaccinated.

“Vaccine hesitancy is very serious in Alabama,” Dr. Judd said.

In Alabama those who are 65 years and older are pursuing the vaccine at the highest rate and hospitalizations for that age group are plummeting, according to Dr. Judd. Right behind them are people who are in their 20′s.

Those with the lowest vaccine rates are those between the ages of 30 to 50 years old.

“Right now, in Alabama, it’s the 30 and 40 and 50 year olds that are most commonly in the hospital,” Dr. Judd said.

Roughly 70-percent of the states population has not been vaccinated, but Dr. Judd said about 30-percent of that population has slight immunity to the virus because they have been infected with the virus.

“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,” Dr. Judd said.

But those antibodies will fade away, according to Dr. Judd. Hospitals are seeing people who have already had COVID get infected with the virus again.

“We really need folks to continue getting vaccinated so that when we are in the Fall sitting right where we are now, seeing less than 2,800 cases every 14-days,” Dr. Judd said. “That is a manageable level for the hospital system, for the health care system, but it’s not herd immunity.”

Alabama currently sees low COVID case numbers, but Dr. Judd said the risk is still there.

“Even though you are less likely to be infected, if you are you have the same risk of dying and the same risk of being hospitalized,” Dr. Judd said.

As time passes, information on the complications post COVID rise.

“The complications in terms of brain fog, the complications in terms of lung function, breathing, heart conditions, so there are so many complications with COVID,” Dr. Judd said. “If you get infected your risk is exactly the same as it was year.”

Hospitals have reached a point where people are just trickling in to get the vaccine, but Dr. Judd ensures they do know how to properly store the vaccine so it is unlikely they will have to disregard doses. However, she said if there is not demand for the vaccine distributors will not send supply.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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