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Study: Alabama near the bottom of U.S. States for vaccinating children for COVID-19

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The holidays are here and the Centers from Disease Control says most Alabama children aren’t getting vaccinations for COVID-19. The Kaiser Family Foundation studied CDC data. The group finds that Alabama ranks among the worst states for vaccinating children aged five to eleven. Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Tennessee and Georgia are also in that group. Doctor Candice Dye teaches pediatric medicine at UAB. She says there are things parents can do to protect their families during holiday visits.

“Continuing to wear masks, is hugely important, even if you are vaccinated,” Dye recommends. “If you know you’re with your family, your unit, then certainly you don’t have to wear your mask in your own home.”

The study by the Kaiser Family Foundation that the vaccination rate among children frequently mirrors how adults are doing. Here in Alabama, forty four percent are fully immunized against COVID-19. That’s behind other states in the south. Doctor Dye says it’s a daily battle to get people young and old to roll up their sleeves

“Those who are eligible, not all are getting it. So, there’s that risk of transmission. And, even asymptomatic cases, or people thinking, ‘oh, this isn’t COVID,” she recalled.

Alabama health care providers are gearing up for what could be an end-of-the-year resurgence of COVID-19, possibly featuring the omicron variant. The first case of that new type of coronavirus was reported this week in Alabama. Public health officials suspect omicron has been in the state for while undetected since it was found in neighboring states.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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