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North Alabama mayors who got coronavirus encourage others to get vaccinated like they did

Florence and Decatur Mayors say after they contracted COVID and got vaccinated, they want you to join in the fight to beat the pandemic.

Posted: Jul 31, 2021 8:03 PM
Updated: Aug 1, 2021 6:27 AM

In a push to get more Alabamians vaccinated, health professionals and now, even some mayors in North Alabama are pleading for the un-vaccinated to roll their sleeve up and get the shot.

"All the vaccines that are available, are still effective. It might not be 95%, but it's definitely about 80% and it still prevents hospitalizations and reduces hospitalizations and deaths significantly," said Dr. Ali Hassoun, infectious disease specialist at Huntsville Hospital.

WAAY-31 spoke with Hassoun and two mayors about their decision to get vaccinated.

Vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, doctor’s offices and pop up clinics.

We spoke with two mayors who said the way the Delta variant is raging across the country, we need everyone who can get the shot, to do so.

"We want to see these numbers go back to where they were. Let's get ready for some sec and high school football. All the things we get to enjoy in the Fall," said Mayor Tab Bowling.

"It's just critical that every citizen; young and old, make an informed decision for their own health and we want the COVID to go away and never visit on us again," said Andrew Betterton, Mayor of Florence.

Both Tab Bowling and Andrew Betterton contracted COVID in 2020, and both are now vaccinated.

As they see the rate of hospitalizations and deaths rise, they say it's unsettling.

"When we reach a point where significant mutation is going to happen, probably, with the current vaccine , it's not going to work anymore," said Ali Hassoun.

Infectious disease specialist, Ali Hassoun, worried about the possibility of more variants.

Not only are those dying from COVID mainly un-vaccinated, but the Delta variant is even more transmissible.

Right now, Alabama is nowhere near herd immunity, but Mayor Betterton and Bowling urge people to do what they believe is the right thing.

"Either you will or you will won't and outside of that, we could use a little kindness, you know," said Mayor Bowling. "In the state of Alabama we don't need to be at the bottom of one more list. We can do better than this," said Mayor Betterton.

Both Mayor Betterton and Bowling told WAAY-31 they hope by sharing their vaccine story, more people will realize it is safe.

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