Who’s still dying of COVID in Alabama?

Who is dying from COVID-19?
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A terrible price has been paid with more than 15,000 Alabamians dying of COVID-19. The Alabama Department of Public Health says many of these lives could have been saved had they been vaccinated against the virus, but who is still dying from COVID in our state?

Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers said at this point in the pandemic, Alabamians aged 50 to 64 are dying at the highest rate.

She said over 60% of deaths are happening in white, non-Hispanic people; a stark change from the beginning of the pandemic when more Black and Hispanic people were dying of COVID.

However, she said about 16% of our data does not account for race and ethnicity because there are people who choose not to report their race, so the impact of that information is unclear.

53.4% of men have died from COVID compared to 46.4% of women.

Experts said women are more like to get vaccinated against COVID than men, though it’s unclear why that is.

Dr. Landers said about a quarter of Alabamians are considered overweight or obese making them more susceptible to bad outcomes with COVID.

“So, when we have about 25% of the population of Alabama that falls into that category, we have to think of ourselves as not just large people, but rather having a risk factor for COVID-19 outcome, again, being less than optimal. And we know we have a lot of diabetes in Alabama, certainly cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary disease, but absolutely, when we have person with comorbid conditions that really ups the risk of having a very poor outcome with COVID,” Dr. Landers explained.

She said the tragedy in all of this is that many of those who lost their lives to COVID were unvaccinated.

Dr. Landers said the vaccines decrease your risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

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