BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – More than 100,000 children have now tested positive for COVID every week for the past 13 weeks, according to CBS News.
This information comes as state health leaders are answered some questions parents might have as children ages five to 11 now have their chance to get the vaccine.
Vaccine data is not available yet for the five- to 11-year-olds on the state’s website, but the Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers said about 38 percent of kids 12 to 17 have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. According to Landers, there’s still a long way to go because those who are not vaccinated continue to contribute to the overall deaths we see in Alabama.
“We have to keep in mind that this virus is still circulating, Delta is still circulating,” Landers said. “This is not a disease that we want to just take our chances with. Our information on natural immunity does not indicate that natural immunity is very good for a very long period of time.”
In Alabama about 18 percent of cases of COVID come from ages zero to seventeen.
UAB Pediatric Infectious Diseases expert Dr. David Kimberlin said raw number comparisons don’t work.
“Children just don’t die often and adults do, so comparing raw number to raw number is not really a legit comparison in my view,” Kimberlin said. “Any choice we make is a choice and it is actively deciding not to give the best protection if you don’t get the vaccine. I would suggest that’s not something you want to live with if God forbid, something happens as it has for a quarter of a million Americans.”
Both doctors said the shot is much more effective than natural immunity, so it’s best to not take your chances against the virus. They urge you to speak to your physician about what is best for your children to do.
Landers said the state is working to start getting vaccine numbers up on the website by next week – because most pharmacies only started vaccinating last weekend.
You can watch the entire Q&A hosted by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama on Facebook.