By Haley Wilson
The Birmingham Times
Beginning Dec. 13 at six Birmingham City Schools, free COVID-19 vaccinations will be available for children ages 5 and up, parents and community residents.
The clinics, provided by Alabama Regional Medical Services (ARMS), Cahaba Medical Centers and MedsPlus Consulting, will have first doses available for children as well as second dose and booster shots for adults.
“The importance of these pop ups is accessibility,” said Nanette Allen, chief operating officer of ARMS. “Being able to meet the community where they are in their specific communities… schools and churches and recreation centers…that allows people to be able to walk to us and access us very easily.”
Clinics will be offered at:
- Avondale Elementary, Monday Dec. 13: 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Central Park Elementary, Monday, Dec. 13 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- WJ Christian K-8: Tuesday, Dec. 14: 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
- Glen Iris Elementary and EPIC Elementary, Wednesday, Dec. 15: 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- H. Phillips Academy, Wednesday, Dec. 15: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- South Hampton K-8, Thursday, Dec. 16: 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
“Our children are a very important part of our community,” added Allen. “It is important [to get vaccinated] because [kids] are in households with adults that are going out to work every day and going out to other places in the community, while being in the school system and being around their friends and family.
“Kids are just as exposed to COVID as adults are… so it is our desire just to make sure everybody in the community has the ability to be protected from this disease,” she said.
BCS is focusing on COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and education to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
“COVID-19 still is present in our community, and overall, our rate of vaccinations in Jefferson County lags behind much of the country,” said Superintendent for Birmingham City Schools, Dr. Mark Sullivan. “We will continue making vaccinations available because we want our students, their families and our employees to be healthy and safe.”
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends vaccines for these reasons:
- COVID 19-vaccines are effective and can reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19 vaccines also help children and adults from getting seriously ill even if they do get COVID-19.
- There are approximately 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old in the United States, and there have been nearly 2 million cases of COVID-19 within this age group during the pandemic. COVID-19 can make children very sick, require hospitalization, and some children have even died. Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions.
- Getting children ages 5 years and older vaccinated can help protect them from serious short- and long-term complications.
- Getting everyone ages 5 years and older vaccinated can protect families and communities, including friends and family who are not eligible for vaccination and people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.