East Alabama doctors gear up to vaccinate children 12 and older against COVID-19

East Alabama doctors gear up to vaccinate children 12 and older against COVID-19
Published: May. 13, 2021 at 8:33 AM EDT
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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - Children as young as 12-years-old are eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Now, East Alabama pediatricians are gearing up to vaccinate this younger population.

The FDA has already approved Pfizer’s vaccine for children 12 to 15. Wednesday, a CDC advisory panel, too, officially recommended Pfizer’s shot for this age group.

In Phenix City, Dr. Ritu Chandra, the founder of Preferred Medical Group, is already preparing to start vaccinating younger people.

“It’s huge,” she said. “This is our passport to getting back to life again.”

In Auburn, the East Alabama Medical Center’s community vaccine clinic will not be administering vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds. Officials said they’re coordinating with local pediatricians for their offices to give shots to this age group.

Dr. Chandra said children’s doctors are the perfect ones for the job.

“Pediatricians do vaccines from birth onward, so this is our core competency,” she said. “We have the training and the skillset of how to address the apprehensive parent.”

According to Dr. Chandra, they’ve been using Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines but plan to order Pfizer’s shots to start vaccinating young people as soon as possible.

“I’m thinking within one week,” Dr. Chandra said. “That’s my goal.”

We’re nearing the end of the school year, but Dr. Chandra said they’re coordinating with school districts to bring the shots right to campus ahead of summer.

“I think it’ll give parents and kids more confidence to return to school in the fall,” she said.

To schedule a vaccination appointment at Preferred Medical Group, email the office at vaccine@preferredmedgroup.com.

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