Alabama pediatricians gearing up for COVID vaccine for kids 5-11

Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With the Pfizer vaccine entering the final approval stages for kids 5-11, Alabama doctors are preparing for shipments of the dosage as early as next week.

When it comes to how many doses each hospital or pediatric practice gets will depend on how many patients they serve. Dr. Anne Byars with Liberty Mountain Pediatrics says she’s had parents call her office asking when their child in that age range can get their shot.

“So many parents have been calling us, even before this was approved. Finding out when their children could get vaccinated,” Dr. Byars said.

Dr. Byars says practices like hers could see up to 300 doses of the vaccine shipped to them.

“We are ready. We are waiting for the vaccine from the Health Department,” Dr. Byars said.

Dr. Byars says at least 6 million children have been infected with COVID-19. She says for the most part, majority of children should have no issues with the vaccine; however, she understands parents still have questions about it all.

“They should ask their pediatrician or their family practice or physician is my child a candidate for this? Is this a good idea?” Dr. Byars said.

And according to Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health, she says the dose amount for 5-11 year olds is different than everyone else.

“It is a smaller dose and no one is authorized to give it until we have the guidance related to the vaccine,” Dr. Landers said.

But Dr. Byars says tests have shown the same results for both age groups. And experts believe the more children vaccinated against the virus, the better protected everyone will be.

“Have a level of immunity that makes the next potential wave of this virus less likely to do the kind of damage, devastating damage that the Delta wave did to us in August,” Dr. David Kimberlin with Alabama Children’s Hospital said.

Dr. Byars says she doesn’t believe there will be many medical exemptions for children and the Pfizer vaccine. If a child can’t get the vaccine, Dr. Byars says children should still wear masks, social distance, and use sanitizer.

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