WATCH: Huntsville Madison County leaders provide COVID-19 update

Coronavirus

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Leaders in Madison County held a COVID-19 briefing to discuss the progress the area has made in fighting the virus.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 422,376 Alabamians have contracted the COVID-19 virus. In Madison County, there have been 30,787 confirmed cases.

The positivity rate remains low at the moment. Right now, 5.5% of COVID-19 tests taken, come back positive.

While the state is far behind the rest of the country with only 30% vaccinated, Madison County’s numbers are higher:

  • 39.9% – Fully vaccinated
  • 48.3% – One dose
  • 86.9% – One dose for 65+
  • 59.7% – One dose for 18+
  • 20.2% – One dose for 12-17

Huntsville pediatrician Dr. Kelli Stringer spoke at the briefing Tuesday, trying to normalize children getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“As a pediatrician and a parent, I can tell you that I absolutely support this vaccine for children, that the trials have proven that the vaccine is safer for children than COVID because we do know that it can cause severe illness in children,” said Dr. Stringer.

Dr. Stringer adds that the side effects in those 12-17 are the same as adults. Generally, it’s injection-site pain, muscle aches and fever. Right now, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for that age group.

Huntsville City Schools’ Dr. Clarence Sutton announced that the school system will not be requiring students to be vaccinated this coming fall. News 19 asked about HCS’ contingency plan if a spike were to happen.

“We meet regular with the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the CDC and we use those guidelines,” said Dr. Sutton. “So at this time, I can’t actually state what we particularly would do.”

While there is no plan as of yet, HCS is partnering with Huntsville Hospital to offer a vaccine clinic for students 12 and up, wishing to get a shot.

First doses will be administered this Thursday and second doses on Thursday, July 15. The clinic is set for 1:00pm-3:30pm both dates in the Huntsville High School Gym.

Students have to register and schedule an appointment online at this link to receive the vaccine. There will be no walk-ins, the district said, and the vaccine registration slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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