How effective are COVID vaccines against the Lambda variant?

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel breaks down how the COVID-19 vaccines stack up against the contagious variant.

Birmingham, Ala. – Americans across the country celebrated Independence Day, but dozens of states didn’t meet President Biden’s Fourth of July vaccine goal. 

Biden aimed to have 70% of Americans receive one vaccine shot or more by the Fourth of July. However, more than 30 states didn’t meet that goal, and Mississippi and Alabama are at the bottom of the list. 

Before the holiday, Alabama had the second lowest vaccination rate in the United States right behind Mississippi, which had the lowest partial vaccination rate at about 46%. 

Sheila Malloy, who has lived in Alabama for decades, got vaccinated as soon as it was available for her in April. 

Sheila Malloy outside of her home in Birmingham, Alabama. (Jayla Whitfield/Fox News)

“I just feel blessed that God has allowed me to get through it,” Malloy said. 

Malloy worries about Alabama’s low vaccine rate, which means there are millions in the state who aren’t protected. 

“I continue to wear my mask, I continue to follow the guidelines, I continue to wash my hands, I continue to back away from a lot of crowds,” Malloy said. 

Alabama state health officer, Scott Harris, says there are 1.8 million Alabamians who have received one dose of a vaccine but there are nearly 5 million people in the state. 

Alabama state health officer, Scott Harris points out that only 1.8 million Alabamians have received one dose of a vaccine. (Jayla Whitfield / Fox News)

“We’re near the bottom of that tier of states that are not going to make it,” Harris said. 

However, Harris says many Alabamians don’t have the same access to care compared to other states. 

“We have people that don’t have access to care. In rural communities, people have transportation challenges, they don’t know where to go, they don’t have internet, or cable,” Harris said. 

People lined up to get vaccinated in Alabama during the peak vaccination period. (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Suzanne Judd, University of Alabama Birmingham School of Public Health professor, said vaccines are sitting in freezers in the state while people are still dying from the virus. 

“In Alabama we had 30 deaths last week and it may seem low, but to those 30 people and their family, it mattered,” Judd said. 

Judd says since fewer people are vaccinated in the state there is an increased chance of an outbreak. 

“What’s scary is if you get a variant like delta that moves very quickly through a population and you’ve got a county that’s got very low vaccination rates,” Judd said. 

University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital was filled with COVID patients during the peak of the pandemic. (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Large pockets of Yellowhammer State residents are at risk from the delta variant, which originated in India.

The Biden administration plans to deploy rapid response teams to areas in the United States where the delta variant is spreading. 

“It’s absolutely going to happen that we’re going to have outbreaks in some workplaces, schools, or associated with some kind of event, gathering because you have lots of unvaccinated people,” Harris said

Alabama officials say several mass vaccine sites in Alabama were forced to close because they were sitting empty. The vaccine is still available for residents at their local pharmacies and with their health care doctor. 

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