Could lack of fully vaccinated people in Alabama lead to COVID-19 surge during Memorial Day weekend?

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MONTGOMERY, Ala (WIAT) — With the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday weekend approaching, are heath officials fearing a resurgence of COVID-19 infections?

According to Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, the state is heading in the right direction when it comes to lowering the number of COVID-19 cases, but he is still urging those who are still hesitant to get vaccinated.

“I feel pretty confident in saying that either you need to get vaccinated or you’re going to get COVID,” Harris said.

That assessment comes at a time when vaccine availability across Alabama is greater than ever. There are currently between 1,350 to 1,400 vaccination sites statewide with multiple locations in all 67 counties.

“Almost everybody in the state of Alabama lives within a very short drive or a walk,” Harris said.

Despite the availability, Alabama lags behind other states in fully vaccinating its residents.  According to the latest numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health, just over 1.3 million Alabamians are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Gov. Kay Ivey has ended the statewide mask mandate and just signed a law that prevents someone from having to show proof of vaccination or a so-called “vaccine passport.”

While Harris said he supports Ivey’s decisions, he knows that with the upcoming holiday weekend, people will be flocking together to celebrate.

“I think we’re asking Alabamians to please be responsible and do the right thing. I think most people will do that and we can expect there’s some people who won’t want to do that,” he said.

While the statewide mask mandate has already ended, the remainder of Ivey’s Safer at Home order is set to expire on May 31.

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