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Alabama Medical Association urges federal government to expedite COVID-19 booster shot plans

The Alabama Medical Association has requested that the federal government accelerate COVID-19 booster shots for Gulf States, citing the region’s high volume of cases and hospitalizations.

Dr. Aruna Arora, president of the Medical Association, and other state health care leaders are meeting on Thursday with White House Vaccination coordinator Dr. Bechara Choucair to discuss increasing vaccine confidence.

U.S. health officials announced yesterday plans to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to shore up protection amid the surging Delta variant. The plan, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Arora detailed Alabama health care professionals’ appeal to the federal government to expedite dispensing of the booster shots.

“Much of our health care workforce received their second vaccine dose in January,” said Arora. “We are asking the federal government to reconsider its plan and give Gulf Coast states those booster shots now rather than needlessly wait.”

She concluded, “These hard-hit states are most at risk for medical care staffing shortages, which we are already beginning to see. Waiting unnecessarily simply puts all patients at greater risk, whether they have COVID or not. Patients cannot afford to lose our health care workforce during this time of greatest need when even normal illnesses that cause medical staff to miss work will contribute to staff shortages.”

This comes on the heels of Gov. Kay Ivey last week issuing a state of emergency due to the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across the state.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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