Two big updates on COVID-19 in Alabama.
One, Alabama continues to have more hospitalized patients than ICU beds available, and two, the state is getting some help with a treatment aimed at keeping people out of the hospital.
The state's health officer, Dr. Scott Harris, on Friday said Alabama already has more than 200 providers who can give the monoclonal antibody infusion.
There has been talk that there may not be enough, but Alabama is getting a hefty supply.
Many hospitals are being inundated with patients sick with COVID who are not vaccinated.
Dr. Harris says he knows the monoclonal treatment will keep people out of the hospital, but wanted to shut down any rumors that Alabama will struggle when it comes to supply.
"There's no shortage of monoclonal antibody products. However, the states that are ordering a lot of them are going to see their orders reduced somewhat. It's effectively like a shortage, even though it's not a shortage. I think they're trying to make sure there's not products still on the shelves that hasn't been used," he said.
He said the state is getting 70 percent of what was requested.
He didn't specify an exact number but says it's enough until demand skyrockets.
Dr. Harris says the only way we'll end this pandemic is if we mask up and get the vaccine.
Doctors and state leaders are continuously begging people to come in crowds to get vaccinated.
Dr. Harris says Alabama is looking a little hopeful with the numbers trending upward in terms of people getting vaccinated, but we still need more.
He says many people are opting to just trust the human body to adapt and that will not happen with COVID.
He says the more people who refuse to get vaccinated, the more the virus will mutate.
Many facilities in the Huntsville Hospital network can't take any more patients and can't send them elsewhere because of how full everyone is.
Now, Dr. Harris has a stark message for those who think they'll naturally beat this COVID virus.
"Please don't go for natural immunity because overall, in terms of all of our overall numbers, about 2 percent of those people are going to die. So, the rate of re-infections of death is just under 1 percent, but that only applies to the people that didn't die the first time around," he said.
Vaccines are free and readily available and you can look on the state's website if you need help finding one.
Dr. Harris says if more people do not get vaccinated now, we're looking at a dangerous place in terms of the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.