From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) released a statement on Wednesday, November 10 that stated children ages 5 – 11 are eligible for vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is now available in locations throughout the state, including community retail pharmacies and county health departments.
According to the ADPH, Alabama expects to have an adequate vaccine supply to meet demand, and more vaccines will be arriving each day as orders are filled. The vaccine for children is a smaller dose and is given as a 2-dose series, three weeks apart. Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine product that has current authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine to this age group.
While young children often have a milder illness than adults, COVID-19 outbreaks in children are common. In the past four weeks, 4.5 percent of COVID-19 cases have been in children up to 4 years old, 8.1 percent have been in ages 5 – 11, and 6.2 percent have been in adolescents 12 – 17 years of age. At times during this past summer and fall, as many as 55 children were hospitalized at any given time. During that same time period, up to 9 children were receiving ventilatory support.
Children can be efficient spreaders of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the more children and adults who are vaccinated against the virus, the better protection is for everyone, especially those at high risk of severe disease. In addition, it is important for children to stay healthy so they can remain in school.
Parents and other interested persons are invited to view a Facebook Live update that will discuss COVID-19 vaccination in children ages 5 – 11. The Medical Association of the State of Alabama will host Kidsand the COVID-19 Vaccine: Answers for Parents on Thursday, November 11, at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Aruna Arora, association president; Dr. Karen Landers, Alabama Department of Public Health; and Dr. David Kimberlin, UAB; will provide the update.
Viewers may send in questions which will be answered as time permits. This update is available by going to the Medical Association of the State of Alabama’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/