LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – A historic milestone in the fight against COVID-19 in east Alabama begins a week from Friday as the Pediatric Clinic starts vaccinating children 12 and up with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on May 21, 2021.
Before starting the pandemic, the Pediatric Clinic purchased space next door to its office at the GlennDean Shopping Center in Auburn. The idea was to expand the doctor’s office, but plans were put on hold when COVID-19 hit. Now, the space will be used as a vaccination clinic. The Pediatric Clinic is organizing the clinic with help from East Alabama Medical Center and the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Whitney Cooley is a nurse manager at the clinic. Cooley says they hope to begin by vaccinating 200 kids each day and expand services as they perfect the process. The vaccine is free. The clinic is open to any child who wants a vaccine, even if you aren’t a clinic patient. The clinic will make sure your vaccination records are shared with your child’s primary provider.
“We will have a link on our website for people to self-register. We are here to serve the community in this capacity, not just our patients, so if you are 12-18, you can get the vaccine here, and East Alabama Medical Center will continue doing 16 and up is my understanding,” said Cooley.
Jerry Haynes is the Administrator for the Pediatric Clinic. He says the pandemic has been difficult on healthcare workers and sees expanding the COVID-19 vaccine to this age of the population as another shot of hope in returning to normal.
“It’s been a hard year not only for our staff but for all health care workers. We are here every day. Our doctors, our nurses, staff, our weekend and night crews, we have kept the rope. We will keep going, and we will continue the fight. For us, hope is this vaccine. If we can get enough people in our community to uptake this vaccine, we can start to lose these masks and get back to normal. So, we are excited about the clinic,” said Haynes.
The Pediatric Clinic is modeling their vaccine efforts after EAMC’s clinic on Tuesday Morning, which has given 90,000 plus doses of the Phizer vaccine.
“They have done an outstanding job serving this community, and we are excited excited to get started. We know as many people who are excited about this vaccine, there are just as many who are hesitant. I get that. As health care providers, we want to help answer those questions. Our staff is very passionate about vaccines. They are passionate about this COVID-19 vaccine and getting us back to a normal life,” said Cooley.
The Pediatric Clinic COVID-19 scheduling link is expected to go live sometime Thursday. You can visit them on their website for more information: The Pediatric Clinic http://www.thePedsClinic.com/
Monday, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization for children 12 and older; later, the CDC formally adopted a recommendation from independent advisers to use Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in all Americans as young as 12.