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Delta COVID variant in southern U.S.; vaccines most effective way to stay safe, experts say

White House Vaccinations Coordinator Dr. Bechara Choucair says the most effective way to stay safe from the variant is to get vaccinated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Health experts say a COVID-19 strain that originated in India, the Delta strain, has made its way to the United States and is floating around the southern states.

White House Vaccinations Coordinator Dr. Bechara Choucair says the most effective way to stay safe from the variant is to get vaccinated.

"It is associated with higher transmissibility," said Choucair. "It appears to be associated with more severe disease including hospitalization, what we're learning from the UK it appears to be highly transmissible in 12 to 20-years-old, so we want to make sure that we can do everything we can to get protected."

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As of May 13, all Alabamians ages 12 and up are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine after the CDC gave the Pfizer vaccine emergency authorization for those in this age group.

“This is great and welcome news that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be available for Alabamians 12 and up, offering another option for families in our state as we get back into full gear. We have seen good success so far with these safe and effective vaccines, and I encourage parents and children to consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions,” Governor Ivey said. “The vaccine is our ticket back to normal, and I continue to feel optimistic and hopeful in the positive direction we are moving in as a state.”

After receiving the COVID vaccine, you may experience common symptoms. The CDC listed the following common side effects of the shot:

  • Pain, redness and swelling in the arm you got the shot
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle Pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

“If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic,” the CDC says on their website.

For the most up-to-date information on side effects and the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the CDC’s website.

IN OTHER NEWS: Health experts address COVID vaccine hesitancy in young people