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North Alabama doctors stress vaccinating kids for COVID-19

Madison County is struggling to get a majority of the population vaccinated for COVID-19.

Posted: Jun 21, 2021 7:46 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2021 12:24 PM

Madison County is struggling to get a majority of the population vaccinated for COVID-19.

The newest numbers show about 48% of the population has received at least one dose.

Only around 20% of 12 to 17-year-olds have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

Dr. Kelli Stringer said pediatricians, including herself, overwhelmingly support the vaccine for kids aged 12 to 17 because kids do get sick from COVID-19.

Stringer said the vaccine has been 100% effective in children.

She said that if you want your child to get vaccinated there are some options in Huntsville, including at pediatrician offices.

If your child's pediatrician does not have the vaccine though they can get it at other locations including through Huntsville Hospital at their John Hunt Park vaccine clinic.

"There is potential to go to other sites like Tracy mentioned or even other pediatrician offices. Talk to your pediatrician about getting you into another pediatrician who does have it just for the vaccine if you are interested for your children because we want to vaccinate your children," said Stringer.

A local school district is helping vaccination efforts for those kids.

Huntsville City Schools is not requiring their students to get vaccinated to attend school or any school-related event, but they are helping them get access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Huntsville City Schools is partnering with Huntsville Hospital to administer vaccines to students on Thursday.

Students will then return three weeks later on July 15 to get their second dose.

The vaccine clinic will be at the Huntsville High School gym and it will start at 1 p.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

Tracy Doughty with Huntsville Hospital said they think it's important for students to get vaccinated so, they're doing their part to help out.

"We at Huntsville Hospital are trying to do our best to make sure it's as convenient for the school-aged children in north Alabama and definitely in Madison County so, we partner with the school systems here," said Tracy Doughty, Senior Vice-President of Operations at Huntsville Hospital.

Huntsville Hospital is also making changes to who can visit their patients .

In just a couple of days Huntsville Hospital is going to allow one person to visit a COVID-positive patient in the hospital.

That person will be provided all the personal protective equipment that they need while they are visiting their loved one.

That includes gloves and a gown, something that is no longer in short supply because the supply chain has caught up with the demand.

"So, we think it's important to have visitors especially close family to your loved ones so we're going to allow one visitor two hours a day for a COVID positive patient," said Doughty.

Now to help keep people out of the hospital Doughty recommends, especially for the upcoming July 4th holiday, that if you are not fully vaccinated and in a large crowd you should wear a mask.

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