With Alabama consistently ranking in the lowest states for vaccine rates and new COVID-19 cases rising daily, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is banding together with state healthcare leaders to vaccinate Alabama. The grassroots campaign, aptly named “We Can Do This Alabama” aims to educate and vaccinate Alabamians throughout the state.
Time to vaccinate Alabama: COVID-19’s continued toll on our state
In a press briefing on July 27, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris shared that Alabama is seeing a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. In fact, Dr. Harris gave a staggering statistic—Alabama hospitals are now caring for over 900 COVID-19 patients, the highest rate of hospitalizations since February.
This is an unprecedented increase from the 179 patients in Alabama hospitals as of July 3, and healthcare professionals are incredibly concerned. So, what can we do to support our state healthcare system and put an end to the pandemic? Dr. Harris’ message was clear: Get vaccinated.
How many Alabamians are vaccinated?
According to the Alabama Department of Health:
- 4.2 million Alabamians are currently eligible to be vaccinated
- Roughly 45% have received one or more doses of the vaccine (approx. 1.9 million)
- Roughly 37% have completed their series of vaccines (approx. 1.6 million)
Banding together to vaccinate Alabama
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama has teamed up with healthcare leaders across the state to raise awareness on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines through the “We Can Do This Alabama” campaign. The movement’s website features fact-based statistics and information, as well as resources for finding a vaccine appointment in your area.
Recruiting local champions
An integral part of this movement is recruiting local champions—vaccinated citizens who are ready to give a hands-on effort on vaccine education in their community. Local champions are encouraged to share the facts on the COVID-19 vaccine with family, friends and co-workers to encourage vaccination and help put an end to the pandemic.
The vaccine’s impact in Alabama: Special reunions
The work of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama through the “We Can Do This Alabama” campaign is benefiting real Alabamians every single day. Allow me to introduce you to Dothan’s McLendon Farr and two of her very favorite people, Tom and Suzie Waddell.
Suzie, or “Ma Sue” as she is more affectionately known, is a two-time cancer survivor whose life was greatly impacted by COVID-19. Because she is immunocompromised, the family’s usual visits were put on pause to keep her as safe as possible.
McLendon realized the importance of getting her vaccine not only to support her community, but also to feel safe visiting her grandmother again. After being fully vaccinated, the pair were able to safely reunite earlier this year, and they had a lot to catch up on! The Auburn student brought along her college yearbook and caught Ma Sue up on all the happenings of the past year.
“I would encourage others my age to think about someone you love, and get educated on the vaccine. Whether that’s a neighbor or classmate, or even a family member—think of others. You might not have any idea that someone you sit next to every day in class is highly susceptible to the virus. Do your part to help protect them, and don’t be convinced that you are invincible just because you’re young.”McLendon Farr, 20