‘Think about our children’: Atlanta mayor pleads for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19

ATLANTA — Just days after the mayor of Atlanta reissued a mask mandate, she begged people to get vaccinated and to mask up.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that she doesn’t see another lockdown coming in the near future, but she said the outlook is bleak if more people don’t get vaccinated.

“So many of us are vulnerable. So please, please, please get vaccinated,” Bottoms said. “Think about our children who do not have the choice or not to be vaccinated.”

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Bottoms warned that COVID-19 case numbers could continue to climb in the city if more people don’t mask up and get vaccinated.

“We were at phase four but with the surge of the Delta variant, we fell backwards, and we’ve always said that we would follow the data and we are very close to going to phase two,” Bottoms said.

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Dr. Carlos del Rio specializes in epidemiology and global health for Emory University Hospital.

“The Delta variant, as the CDC has said, changes the game,” del Rio said.

He said the sheer combination of unvaccinated people and the delta variant is what’s both alarming and deadly.

“We’re seeing an increase of hospitalizations across the state and about 97% of hospitalized patients are not vaccinated, so again it really is the vaccinations that will keep you from dying,” del Rio said.

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In July, Washington spoke with Elaine Sumlin. After some hesitation, she received her first dose of the vaccine.

“I was concerned that it wasn’t going to help me but then my doctor explained it to me,” Sumlin said.

Bottoms hopes more people like Sumlin will follow suit.

“I encourage everyone please do not wait to get vaccinated It is not worth it.”

Del Rio also said during the meeting today that people have a 0.002% chance of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 once fully vaccinated.

This is another reason the city is pushing for more people to get vaccinated and to mask up.

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