‘We cannot continue to do the same!’: Huntsville infectious disease expert calls for vaccine mandate

Less than half of the population in Alabama is fully vaccinated.

Posted: Sep 21, 2021 8:07 PM
Updated: Sep 24, 2021 2:56 PM

Alabama no longer ranks last in the country when it comes to administering Covid-19 vaccines. Still, the CDC reports less than half of the population in Alabama is fully vaccinated.

"We cannot continue to do the same! We are going to have to change something, and it seems at the moment everything has been tried except a mandate," infectious disease expert Dr. Ali Hassoun said.

He is losing his patience with the people of Alabama.

"We've been waiting and hoping people would look at everything that happened and get convinced, but it doesn't seem at the moment they're getting convinced," Dr. Hassoun explained. "That's the main problem. That's why we had another surge and that's why we had a significant amount of death."

Right now, the vast majority of the state is under a high level of community transmission. Almost 16% of tests are coming back positive and ICU beds are in the negative. Dr. Hassoun says they can't keep waiting.

"We said in May and June. Things are going to look better. We are improving, and I think as a community as a leadership we just let it down. We didn't push for vaccination," Dr. Hassoun said.

The CDC says just over half of the population in Alabama have gotten one dose of the vaccine while close to 42% are fully vaccinated. Dr. Hassoun fears if more people don't get the vaccine things could get a lot worse.

"The main concern if it comes back again is if it's another mutant, another virus in the way of changing, where even those who are vaccinated will not benefit anymore from the vaccination," he explained.

He believes the only way to prevent that is to mandate the vaccine.

"It doesn't need to be everywhere, but schools, hospitals, health care facilities, businesses are going to have to begin mandating, so you can get as much people were you get a lot of exposure. You get them vaccinated," Dr. Hassoun said.

"I know it's going to be tough. I'm not sure it's going to happen, but I think that's the only solution at the moment."

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