A Huntsville health official said on Wednesday that 60,000 to 70,000 coronavirus vaccines are being delivered every week to the state of Alabama, but certain at-risk groups have been vaccinated in low amounts.
Vaccinating people 75 and older has gone really well in Madison County and up to 45% of them have gotten the vaccine, but vaccinations need to ramp up for other groups.
"In the 70 to 74-year-old age group, only 18% of those have received vaccines. And only 13% in the 65 to 60-year-old age group," said Dr. Warren Strickland, Interventional Cardiologist at Crestwood Medical Center.
People in these age categories desperately need to be vaccinated, because they are more likely to die from COVID if they contract the virus.
"Of all the COVID-related deaths, 79% occur in the group over 65 years of age, even though only 17% of cases occur in this age group," said Dr. Strickland.
But an even bigger concern for Dr. Strickland is vaccinating the Black community.
"Black community accounts for approximately 13% of the U.S. population, but are responsible for 28% of the total COVID-19 related deaths. This is a staggering statistic," said Dr. Strickland.
Dr. Strickland says medical professionals are going to have to go into the Black community to get them the vaccine, and they will also need to recruit Black community leaders, like Alabama State Rep. Anthony Daniels.
"Understand that it is extremely important that each and every one of us, if you have access to the vaccine, please take it," said Daniels.
Daniels had the virus during the holidays and understands how serious it is.
"I will tell you at the age of 38, I have never gone through anything in my life as difficult as COVID-19," said Daniels.
Only 11% of vaccines have reached the Black community in Alabama. That's why Dr. Strickland says more needs to be done.