White House vaccination coordinator visits Alabama

Dr. Bechara Choucair, the White House vaccinations coordinator, will meet with health leaders...
Dr. Bechara Choucair, the White House vaccinations coordinator, will meet with health leaders in Alabama on Aug. 19-20, 2021.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 3:48 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - White House Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Bechara Choucair met with Alabama leaders and clinicians Thursday and Friday to discuss COVID-19, the vaccine and the state’s response.

Alabama remains at the bottom of the list when it comes to vaccinations. It is also leading the country in pediatric COVID-19 hospitalization rates.

“The fact remains, we still have a lot more work to do,” Choucair told Anchor Jasmine Williams during an Alabama Live! interview Friday.

Choucair said he discussed the state’s vaccination plan with leaders and clinicians. The “overwhelming majority” of hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated, he said.

“We have the tools to prevent that. We have three very safe vaccines,” Choucair said.

Choucair said he spent time talking with family physicians and pediatricians. He says doctors are ready to answer questions and give facts to those who are undecided.

“So, let’s make sure we have those conversations with your doctors, with your nurses, with people you trust,” Choucair added.

“We know vaccines work; they’re safe, they’re effective. They’re available anywhere, and it is our path to getting this pandemic behind us and saving lives,” Choucair said.

Choucair said unvaccinated people remain at risk, adding that the vaccine is the path to getting the pandemic behind us.

“Now is the time now is the time to roll up your sleeves and get that shot to protect yourself, protect your family and protect your community,” Choucair added.

The Alabama Hospital Association reported more than 2,700 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide Wednesday. The state’s peak was 3,087 patients on Jan. 12.

More than 19,000 positive cases have been reported over the last week, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

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