Local doctor: lack of COVID vaccine access affecting rural residents
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Kennedy Chase
While COVID-19 cases are seeing a decrease in some larger metropolitan areas, rural communities are still being ravaged by the virus.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, more than 57,000 Alabamians have tested positive over the last seven days, and 44% of COVID-19 tests are coming up positive.
Maude L. Whatley Health Center Chief of Operations Dr. Keisha Lowther said she believes cases are increasing in some areas because residents don’t have much access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“In the last few years, we’ve seen quite a few of our community centers and community health centers close,” Lowther said. “Sometimes having the transportation for some people to get to the places where the vaccines are being given is a challenge. And unfortunately, both in our urban and rural communities, there’s still a great deal of mistrust regarding the vaccines.”
While the omicron variant is very infectious and even those who are vaccinated are getting it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the vaccine does ensure symptoms are less severe, meaning there’s less of a chance you’ll wind up in the hospital.