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Alabama expands COVID vaccine eligibility to everyone age 12 and up

Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday announced Alabama is expanding COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to include individuals age 12 and older, effective immediately.

Only the Pfizer-BioNTech is approved for those ages 12 and older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines both remain available to individuals 18 years of age and older.

This comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this week authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in adolescents, followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices giving aligning recommendations Wednesday and the CDC giving its final approval later that same day.

“This is great and welcome news that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be available for Alabamians 12 and up, offering another option for families in our state as we get back into full gear. We have seen good success so far with these safe and effective vaccines, and I encourage parents and children to consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions,” Ivey stated.

“The vaccine is our ticket back to normal, and I continue to feel optimistic and hopeful in the positive direction we are moving in as a state,” she added.

With this expansion, there will be more than 4 million eligible individuals in the state of Alabama. Currently, the state receives approximately 135,000 first doses each week, making the supply abundant to everyone who chooses to get vaccinated. As of May 12, 2,722,909 doses have been administered.

“We encourage the vaccination of adolescents ages 12 and older to get the protection offered by the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “This vaccine will be available at private providers and other sites which have Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine available.”

Visit vaccines.gov to search Alabama vaccine providers by vaccine brand offered.

RELATED: Tuberville continues call for Alabamians to get vaccinated — ‘Best way we can put this virus behind us’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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