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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Pfizer announced Monday, a lower dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has proven successful in their studies for those ages 5 to 11, and the company will soon apply to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization.

Huntsville Hospital’s infectious disease specialist, Dr. Ali Hassoun, said this could be an added benefit for entire communities across the Tennessee Valley.

He said data shows as the virus evolves, it’s becoming more infectious among children, who now make up nearly 1 in every 4 COVID-19 cases.

At Huntsville Hospital, Hassoun says they’re seeing more pediatric COVID-19 patients than ever before.

While many recover without facing severe disease, it’s not always the case; that statement, reflected nationally.

Across the U.S., about 5 million kids have tested positive for the virus. Nearly 460 have died, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

With schools operating in-person again, Hassoun says that only furthers thinking that children should be offered a method of protecting themselves and others against the latest strain.

“The proof has been since the school opened, there’s a lot of outbreaks happening. A significant number of those needed to be quarantined. A significant number need to stay at home or closing the school. So we know it happens between the kids, but at the same time we know there’s a higher chance of giving it to those who are vulnerable and at risk of severe disease and mortality as well,” Hassoun said.

He thinks at the earliest, the plan could be evaluated and possibly approved in four to six weeks. In the meantime, he says parents with questions should talk to their pediatrician about the best plan for their child.