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Enterprise Mayor William E. Cooper has joined more than 30 other Alabama mayors in the “We Can Do This Alabama Mayors’ Challenge,” a statewide grassroots effort to get a 20-percent increase in vaccinations by Sept. 6, Labor Day.
“With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations dramatically increasing in our state, we are calling on everyone in a leadership position to help us fight this virus,” said Dr. Donald Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, and speaking on behalf of the We Can Do This Alabama Coalition. “At this point it is about sharing information on a personal level, encouraging those with hesitation to talk with their doctor and other vaccinated friends and family members. We know that our mayors are trusted and respected in their communities, and we are extremely grateful for those who are stepping up to help.”
As of Aug. 10, according to ADPH reports, 34 percent of Alabamians have been fully vaccinated. That’s approximately 1.7 million of a population of 5.8 million. Alabama’s vaccination rate in late July was reported as the lowest in the nation.
Cooper said he wants to see that number climb, so he supports the statewide effort.
“I had COVID-19 before the vaccinations were available, and I became very, very sick and was hospitalized for a time,” Cooper said. “I do not wish to see anyone suffer the way I did, or worse.”
Cooper said the entire pandemic ordeal has been difficult for all parts of the country, and he is thankful that Enterprise has endured fairly well in comparison to some areas, but he is saddened by the death toll the pandemic has taken locally and all over the world. He also remains concerned about the economic impact of the continuing COVID spread and the related consequences that affect business, industry and family financial well-being.
“We have to get this pandemic under control, and I believe vaccinations are the best way to do that right now,” Cooper said. “Vaccinations are readily available now. I had my vaccination just as soon as it was available to me, and so far, I have not had the new Covid variant.”
Local hospitalization and death reports seem to follow national trends, indicating that those who have been vaccinated are less likely to become seriously ill or die from the illness.
“I encourage everyone who has not been vaccinated to at least consider the possibility and consult with your doctors on what is right for you,” he said. “The sooner we can get a hold on this virus, the sooner life can get back to normal, and I think that’s what we all want.”
“We Can Do This Alabama” is a partnership between the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Hospital Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the Alabama Nursing Home Association, the Alabama Primary Health Care Association, the Alabama Chapter-AAP, the Alabama Council for Behavioral Healthcare, the Alabama State Nurses Association, and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama.
To find a vaccination location in the local area, go to the Alabama Department of Public Health online portal, www.ALCovidVaccine.gov
For more about the statewide effort, go to www.wecandothisalabama.com