Where is a COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12?

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:13 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Children in Alabama will be heading back to school very soon, but a large segment of the school population is still not eligible for any COVID-19 vaccine.

The simple answer to why is safety, testing, and review.

Alabama health leaders are watching with concern about the increasing number of people, including young folks, getting COVID.

“We are seeing increasing numbers though that is reflective of reports coming out of Mississippi. They are seeing the same sort of thing,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, UAB Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Pfizer and Moderna are still doing clinical trials for those between 5 and 11. The results are expected to be turned over to the FDA and CDC for review in a few months.

“The primary concern is safety and the primary concern is ensuring that we have the situation in place so we don’t have untoward effects,” Dr. Landers said.

There is a term - immune enhancement - which could be a problem. This is where vaccine research is rushed and those who got a vaccine end up getting sicker than those unvaccinated.

So until vaccines are approved, parents can take other steps to protect their children.

“That is masks, social distance, the things we know work. We are going to have to rely on as the virus picks up steam across our communities,” said Dr. David Kimberlin.

Alabama health leaders say clinical trials from the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna are expected for submission by September or October and a review means they may not be ready until late this year or early next year.

Until then, if you’re eligible, health professionals say get those shots. If not, practice those safety steps.

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