Starting May 24, East Alabama Medical Center’s Community Vaccine Clinic will pare back its days and hours of operation, the hospital announced on Monday.
The clinic,which is currently providing vaccination slots Monday through Thursday, will have 300 slots open from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday starting May 24, as well as slots on Saturday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to noon.
Appointment times through June 9 are already available online at www.eastalcovidvaccine.org. EAMC is currently administering the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses and has been approved for those ages 16 and older.
Pfizer is expected to receive emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine for use in adolescents ages 12 to 15 years old. The authorization could happen as soon as early next week. Pfizer announced in late March that its clinical trial of 2,260 adolescents found that its vaccine demonstrated 100 percent efficacy and “robust antibody responses” in Phase 3 trial participants.
“Across the globe, we are longing for a normal life. This is especially true for children,” said Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, which partnered with Pfizer to develop the vaccine. “The initial results we have seen in the adolescent studies suggest that children are particularly well protected by vaccination.
“It is very important to enable them to get back to everyday school life and to meet friends and family while protecting them and their loved ones.”
Emergency use authorization by the FDA for adolescents would make millions more eligible to receive the vaccine before the start of the school year in August. In late March, Pfizer also began a trial for the vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 years old, with plan to also begin trials for those 2 to 4 years old and then for those six months to 2 years old.
Vaccine eligibility approval for adolescents and children is a critical step toward reaching herd immunity, which most experts think would require vaccination of 70 to 90 percent of the U.S. population, a prospect that some health experts say is not likely to happen in the near future because of vaccine hesitancy among some citizens and the rise of new variants.
In Lee County, about 53,000 residents, or 40 percent of the eligible population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with about 43,000 being fully vaccinated.
The Biden Administration said that starting this week unordered vaccines would be reallocated to a federal vaccine bank, where states could order more to meet demand.