Local doctors hope parents with kids 5 and under will get the COVID vaccine once approved

COVID vaccinations for children under 5
Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 9:38 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 5, 2022 at 9:50 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Children under five may soon be able to get their COVID vaccine. If it’s approved, doctors said it could launch as early as next month.

Pfizer has asked the FDA to authorize extra-low doses of vaccine for children ages six months through four years, but with Alabama’s low vaccination numbers, some doctors worry parents won’t sign up.

According to ADPH data, kids five to 11 make up the lowest vaccination percentages in the state. Data shows that only about 13% of kids in that age group have at least one dose.

UAB epidemiologist Dr. Suzanne Judd said she thinks there is a chance the trend will continue, and parents with kids five and under will also not get the shot. But, she said she is hopeful the hesitancy may not be as strong this time, because Alabama has good routine child vaccination numbers. She said she hopes COVID shot numbers are similar to the number of pediatric flu and routine vaccines.

“It’s just more likely that a child will interact with their pediatrician as they are growing, especially under the age of five,” Judd said. “Plus, they have to get that blue card filled out in order to go to school, so for those two reasons, we tend to see pretty high vaccination rates in children.”

Officials said the FDA will meet in a few weeks to review the vaccine data. They will then vote on whether or not it is safe. The CDC will review data and potentially approve it after that.

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