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Alabama passes grim milestone in COVID-19 pandemic

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Alabama’s COVID-19 caseload continues to grow. The State Department of Public Health says over 800,000 coronavirus infections have been reported since the outbreak began. That also includes close to 15,000 deaths from the virus.

Health care providers are making a renewed push to get Alabamians vaccinated for both COVID-19 and this year’s strain of influenza. Dr. Molly Fleece studies infectious diseases at UAB. She says she encourages her patients to get both shots at the same time.

“Putting two vaccines together at the same time, or administering two vaccines at the same time is not new,” Fleece said. “And I would encourage, and do encourage, all of my patients to go ahead and get both vaccines if they have not already gotten their COVID vaccine."

UAB’s PathCheck Foundation vacation dashboard shows only about 40% of Alabamians have been fully immunized against COVID-19. That level falls behind Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee. Fleece said Alabamians should get accurate information about getting their shots.

“I think the biggest recommendation that I would have is that if anyone has any concerns that they get their information and their facts from a reliable source,” Fleece said. “So, speak with your healthcare provider, talk with your physician or nurse practitioner.”

The State Department of Health reports most counties in Alabama is at high risk for the transmission of COVID-19. Sumter and Perry Counties are listed on the ADPH dashboard as having “substantial” risk. Only Barber, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Henry, Houston, Lee, Marengo, Mobile, Pike, and Walker are at “moderate” risk.