Mobile battles largest COVID outbreak; health officer “extremely disappointed” and debunks vaccination myths

Bozz District

Dr. Bernard Eichold, the health officer with the Mobile County Health Department, said he’s “extremely disappointed” in the county’s vaccine rate and is hoping unvaccinated residents reconsider. Mobile County’s vaccination rate is only slightly more than 30% and concerns grow about the contagious virus spreading through coastal Alabama. The county’s […]

Dr. Bernard Eichold, the health officer with the Mobile County Health Department, said he’s “extremely disappointed” in the county’s vaccine rate and is hoping unvaccinated residents reconsider.

Mobile County’s vaccination rate is only slightly more than 30% and concerns grow about the contagious virus spreading through coastal Alabama. The county’s seven-day average of new cases is at 227 per day, making it the worst county in Alabama during the latest COVID-19 outbreak.

Among the largest counties in Alabama, only Montgomery County has a lower vaccination rate than Mobile County.

The low vaccination numbers drew national attention to Mobile County. CNN ran a report that highlighted the lack of vaccines administered during a pop up clinic last week.

“We’re giving out millions of doses with little-to-no adverse side effects,” Eichold said this week, referring to the nationwide effort. “Everytime there are (rumors) that are specifically related and caused by the vaccine, it’s not been proven. I am disappointed there has not been a greater number of people who have not taken the opportunities to protect themselves, their families and others.”

He added, “Most people lock their homes and automobiles, so why do you want to leave the human body open to an invader? Vaccine will lock and protect one of your greatest treasures – your body.”

Eichold there are several facts health and government officials and vaccinated people should say when emphasizing the importance of getting a shot in order to debunk the myths and misinformation being spread about the vaccine.

– Private industry – not the federal government – produced the vaccine. The vaccines were developed by New York-based Pfizer Inc., Massachusetts-based Moderna and New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson.

Southern states are last in the percentage of residents getting vaccinated, and historically have a distrust in government. Eichold said it’s important to stress that it was not the federal government that manufactured the COVID-19 vaccines. “I told someone who got vaccinated last weekend that this is not made by the U.S. Army biological laboratory,” said Eichold. “We need to stress that private pharmaceutical industries are doing this stuff for years.”

– Pharmaceutical companies have the same sovereign immunity as the gun industry, Eichold said.

“That same immunity that is provided to a manufacturer and supplier of a COVID vaccine is the same thing that goes on with every gun transaction that we have in this country. This immunity (from being sued) is nothing new in industry.”

– Vaccines do not alter a family’s DNA, and that there is no evidence that vaccines “will make you sterile,” Eichold said.

“And if you’re fully vaccinated, it gives you more freedom,” said Eichold. “You don’t have to quarantine if you’re in close contact with someone who has COVID. If you’re around people who are fully vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask. You’re free to travel and go to other places, if fully vaccinated, like Nassau. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you got to wear a mask.”

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