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The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has announced official guidelines for vaccinating infants and toddlers.

The shots were authorized last week by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) opened the vaccines’ availability to children as young as six-months-old.

The ADPH previously told 1819 News they would follow federal guidelines, and vaccines would be available in the state within the week.

See also: Alabama to order COVID vaccines for kids, concerned doctors warn of dangers

On Tuesday, ADPH officially announced its plans to follow federal guidelines on offering vaccines for children between six months and five years old.

“The Alabama Department of Public Health had 55 healthcare providers who preordered 18,300 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and this vaccine is being directly shipped by the federal government,” the ADPH release said. “Vaccine orders will be able to be placed for other healthcare providers, including public health departments, beginning Wednesday, June 22.”

ADPH says that the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine for children is limited and will be distributed to healthcare providers, pharmacies and county health departments.

The two brands that received the nod from the FDA and the CDC are Pfizer and Moderna.

Pfizer’s vaccine is for children six months to four years old. The dose is one-tenth of the adult dose, and three shots are needed. The first two are given three weeks apart, and the last at least two months later.

A two-dose Moderna vaccine series is recommended for children ages six months through five years. 

According to the CDC, before the COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for children across age groups, scientists and medical experts reviewed safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials involving thousands of children. 

Besides the immediate protection, the ADPH maintains that the vaccine will provide protection for friends and family.

Dr. David Calderwood, an expert in Emergency and Family Medicine with Concerned Doctors, said the vaccine is completely unnecessary for infants and toddlers.

“We have no idea the long-term effects of this, so this poses no benefit and tons of potential injuries,” Calderwood told 1819 News. “We, in our group, are very concerned about vaccinating children of any age, but especially those between the ages of six months to five, because they have no possible benefit.”

ADPH maintains that instances of vaccine injuries are rare.

“The risk of a child having a serious adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is very low,” the release stated. “One rare complication that has been linked to the COVID-19 vaccine is myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), and data demonstrate a higher risk for such inflammation among younger males. However, reports of these complications are rare.”

The ADPH suggests that those who want more information about the vaccines or about myocarditis should speak to their healthcare provider or pediatrician.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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