Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey pleaded with her state’s residents to get the coronavirus vaccine Thursday as cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge.
“I want folks to get vaccinated. That’s the cure. That prevents everything,” Ivey told reporters.
Ivey also delivered sharp criticism of those who have held out from getting the vaccine, which dozens of studies and trials have shown to be safe and effective even against the more contagious delta variant.
“Media, I want you to start reporting the facts. The few cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are unvaccinated folks. And the deaths certainly are occurring with unvaccinated folks,” Ivey said. “These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain. We’ve got to get folks to take the shot.”
Ivey was noticeably frustrated with residents who have not gotten vaccinated. Alabama is the only state in the country where less than 40% of those eligible are not fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (RELATED: Alabama Governor Signs Law Banning Vaccine Passports)
She called them “the greatest weapon we have to fight COVID,” and quipped back at a reporter who asked if she had any strategy to get more people to take it. “I don’t know. You tell me,” she said.
“Folks are supposed to have common sense,” she added. “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down … I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something, but I can’t make you take care of yourself.” (RELATED: COVID Cases Spiked By Over 50% In A Week)
Alabama has recorded approximately 500 deaths since April 1, but of those only 20 were vaccinated, according to state public health data reported by AL.com.
“We know what it takes to get it done,” Ivey said. “Get a shot in your arm. I’ve done it. It’s safe. The data proves it. It doesn’t cost anything. It saves lives.”
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