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Alabama lagging behind in youth vaccination rates

7 million kids vaccinated nationwide.
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 9:30 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for people 12 and up for a little over a month, but reaching that population has proven challenging for medical officials.

There are various incentives out there to get vaccines but Dr. David Hicks says when it comes to kids, talking is your best bet.

According to the CDC, seven million kids in the United States between 12 and 17 have gotten their Pfizer shots, but just 38,000 in Alabama. Community groups like the Alabama Regional Medical Center and school districts themselves are offering vaccine clinics. In some instances, giveaways such as free shoes, free food and other incentives.

Dr. Hicks at the Jefferson County Health Department says the statewide numbers are concerning, and getting out and reaching more young people could require the old shoe leather approach.

“Some of these smaller incentives may move a few people but it has not worked remarkably well here, and so I think it has some limited benefit because something is better than nothing and it gets people invested in talking about vaccinations,” said Dr. Hicks.

He says going to where people are comfortable and having conversations and answering questions is key, they’ve even been knocking on doors.

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