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State superintendent urges parents to vaccinate children before fall

VSU student received vaccine.
VSU student received vaccine.(WALB)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 7:19 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - The state superintendent says he’s concerned about the vaccination rate for students in Alabama and emphasized that we could see another year of students in and out of the classroom if vaccination numbers don’t increase.

“I am extremely concerned about the rate of vaccination in the state and very disturbed that we are not getting more of our students vaccinated,” said Dr. Eric Mackey, State Superintendent.

Dr. Eric Mackey sent a strong message to parents of public school students during Thursday’s school board meeting. His urgent push comes the same day drug maker Moderna filed for emergency use authorization with the FDA to make its COVID vaccine available to children ages 12 -17 years old.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only approved drug on the market now for children as young as 12 years old.

The latest data from the state shows only 2.4 percent of children under 17 years old have at least one dose of the COVID protection. Dr. Eric Mackey says if the rates don’t go up, he doesn’t anticipate a normal school year in the fall.

“If we don’t have children vaccinated, we are going to have outbreaks this fall. If we have outbreaks we are going to have large number of people quarantine. we’ll have to cancel volleyball and football. the same kinds of things we had to do [last year] - unless we get more people vaccinated,” said Dr. Mackey.

Dr. Mackey says it’s also important adults get the vaccine to help keep schools open.

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