ADPH: Children 5-11 are some of the least vaccinated as COVID cases increase

Vaccination rate among Alabama kids remains low as COVID infections trend upwards (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 8:09 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama is once again seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says children 5 to 11 make up one of the least vaccinated age groups in the state. New numbers from the health department show only about 14% of them have gotten a shot.

“In the youngest children, COVID is expected to be the number four cause of death,” said Dr. Wes Stubblefield with ADPH. “We don’t think about children dying very often, but that’s a pretty substantial number.”

The doctor says the virus is making a “slow, steady” comeback due to new subvariants. Immunity from Omicron is wearing off and people are gathering again.

Children are one month out from the back-to-school season. ADPH urges parents to consider getting their child vaccinated.

“It’s safe to get the vaccine with other vaccines,” Stubblefield said. “If they’re going back to school, and they’re getting checkups, you can get them at the same time.”

While some parents are still hesitant to get their young children vaccinated, the expert explains it is safe and side effects remain rare. He says nationwide about 27 million children have received a shot.

“You think about all those children and talk about all the data that are being collected, and what we’ve learned is that the adverse events of these vaccines are generally on par, especially when you think about allergic reactions, are on par with what general vaccines are,” he added.

The doses children receive are smaller than what adults get. They progressively get larger depending on your child’s age, Stubblefield said.

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