On Friday, May 20, The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) recommended that all children aged 5 to 12 (like their teenage peers) receive a booster shot of the controversial COVID-19 vaccine.

Concerned Doctors of Alabama released a statement raising objections to the state recommendation, arguing that vaccines “pose consequential risks" and stating that the CDC shows more deaths and disabilities from the COVID-19 vaccines than from “all vaccines in the last 30 years combined,” making it the “most unsafe vaccine in history," according to the group. Concerned Doctors believes that the number of deaths due to the vaccine is underreported.

“It is important to note that the vaccines only reduce children’s risk of COVID-19 infection for a minimal period of 7 weeks according to one study," the statement said. "No rational person would risk the health of our children for a mere 7 weeks of benefit in the face of the known and unknown short and long-term risks of the vaccine.

“Healthy children, teens and young adults are at minimal risk of severe complications or death due to [COVID-19]. … Multi-country data published in BMC Infectious Diseases showed an Infection Fatality Rate of … 1 per 2,000 infections among ages 0-9 years. A large German study showed a fatality of 3/1,000,000 and no deaths under age 5. A study in Nature demonstrated that children under 18 with no comorbidities have virtually zero risk of death.”

Concerned Doctors of Alabama is a group of physicians and health professionals who are "concerned about the effect of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on our patients, our families, our state and our nation," according to the organization's website. "We believe in the principle of 'do no harm' and in preserving the freedom of both patient and practitioner to choose the best course of treatment. We support the principle of informed consent and the free exchange of medical research and clinical data between providers and patients and the population in general."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) granted emergency-use authorization for children ages five to 11 to receive a booster dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. The ADPH and other vaccine providers are now making the children's booster dose available, claiming it offers an extra layer of protection against COVID-19.

The booster is recommended at least five months after completion of the primary vaccine series. Children ages 5 through 11 years who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a booster three months after completing their primary series, providers recommend.

The ADPH argued that “boosters are important because children may experience longer term effects of COVID-19, even after having mild disease. Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, however, continue to provide protection against more severe illness resulting in urgent care or hospitalization.”

The ADPH “continues to urge the public to be vaccinated as the best way to protect themselves and the people around them,” the department wrote in the statement.

“Vaccinated individuals, children and adults, have the same risk of spreading infection to others as the unvaccinated; therefore, vaccination does not protect society at large,” Concerned Doctors wrote. “This means that vaccinating children does not decrease risk of spread to those around them. It’s also important to note, according to the CDC, 74.2% of kids aged 0-11 already have natural immunity. Children with prior infection were excluded from the booster trials so how can the CDC recommend the vaccine for all children?”

In the last week, 3,028 Alabamians have tested positive for COVID-19, and 132 Alabamians are currently hospitalized with complications from the disease.

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