by: Archie Snowden
ALABAMA (WHNT) — Even with COVID-19 vaccines proven 90% effective in preventing serious illness among younger kids, some Alabama parents are hesitant about getting their kids vaccinated ahead of the upcoming school year.
Some parents say they want to go with the ‘wait and see’ approach.
Back in May, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved all COVID-19 vaccines for kids in all age groups. However, parents in Alabama have drawn the line when it comes to their kids.
Dr. Peily Soong of UAB Children’s of Alabama told News 19 that health experts in the state are very concerned that cases will start to mount.
“I think we are going to see an uptick once school starts,” said Soong. “Most of the exposures we are seeing right now are lots of exposures from camps, and areas where there are close-knit groups of kids.”
Doctors say that parents just aren’t convinced that the vaccine is effective and vaccinating their child that might have long-term ramifications.
“People continue to have those conversations with their healthcare providers, and we continue to put information out there about the safety of the vaccine,” said Dr. Wes Stubblefield of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
However, that safety information has only been slightly effective. The ADPH reported that there are over 2,500 diagnosed COVID-19 cases per day, with over 600 hospitalizations per day with some of the patients being children.
“We still have a fair amount of COVID-19 going on in our communities and it’s still infecting people and we are still seeing deaths associated with COVID-19,” Stubblefield noted.
Alabama ranks at the bottom in total child vaccinations and students are the most vulnerable population to the virus. Dr. Soong is hopeful that somehow the number of children vaccinated will improve.
“The thing that I keep telling parents, as time has gone on, is that we have seen more and more children around the country and around the world have gotten vaccinated,” Stubblefield concluded. “None of the children have picked up any serious side effects of the vaccine or anything that’s in large numbers. I think that as time goes on people will hopefully feel more comfortable.”