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Vacillating on vaccination
OUR VIEW

Vacillating on vaccination

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Almost six months have passed since the first coronavirus vaccines were administered in the U.S., and in the weeks since, thousands of Americans have rolled up their sleeves and gotten at least one shot — some have had one or both of the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

While there was far more demand than available vaccine in Alabama at the start, the situation seems to have reversed, with more available doses than people lining up to receive them. The tiered rollout has dipped down to ages 16 and older, and is expected to be opened up for youngsters aged 12 to 15 as early as next week.

One might surmise from the waning demand that Alabama has seen a majority of its residents fully vaccinated. But that’s incorrect.

According to a state-by-state analysis by 24/7WallStreet, only nine U.S. states have reached the 50 percent vaccinated milestone. Alabama isn’t one of them.

In fact, Alabama is near the bottom — No. 48 — surpassing only Mississippi and Louisiana. Alabama has seen only 32 percent of its residents receive at least one shot, and only 23 percent are fully vaccinated.

Those Alabamians who haven’t received even one shot of vaccine cannot say they’ve been unable to find an opportunity. And some have decided to forego the vaccine altogether. That’s their choice.

However, we urge all Alabamians to consider the larger issue of what health officials call “herd immunity,” which occurs when a majority of a population builds a degree of immunity to a disease, thereby arresting or greatly reducing its spread.

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