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Alabama among lowest in COVID vaccination rate

As of June 10, 2021, only Mississippi has a lower COVID vaccination rate.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama remains among the states with the lowest COVID vaccination rates in the country, sitting at 29.5%. As of June 10, 2021, only Mississippi is lower at 27.9%. Unsurprisingly, with the number of vaccinated people stalling, certain portions of the population is seeing a steady rise in COVID-19 cases. University of Alabama Birmingham Professor Suzanne Judd, Ph.D broke down which demographics are seeing the most cases of COVID-19.

“The bulk of cases are occurring in non-vaccinated individuals,” she said. “By age, it's really in that 30 to 40-year-old age demographic that's experiencing the biggest case burden. So, they have the most hospitalizations and the most cases right now. They also have the lowest rates of vaccination.”

Dr. Judd added that while masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated people, there's nothing wrong with wearing a mask if it provides a sense of comfort.

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

The push to immunize more Americans against the coronavirus includes several major retail pharmacy chains.                                                       

Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger are among the major pharmacy and drugstore chains that are giving COVID-19 vaccines received from the federal government.                                                           

The free vaccinations are part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, a state and federal partnership that targets getting immunizations in underserved areas. The initial rollout during the week of Feb. 12 included some 6,500 pharmacies around the country.      

With the COVID vaccine now widely available for most people, experts with the University of Alabama at Birmingham are starting to address vaccine hesitancy within the young population.

The population with the lowest rate of vaccine uptake is people ages 20 to 45, according to UAB infectious disease expert Dr. Mike Saag. One reason for this is because younger, unvaccinated people may feel as though they are safe from the virus, said Saag.

"'I don't think I'm gonna get it.' Okay, well you were lucky. But that doesn't mean you're going to be lucky next week," said Saag.