AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Children ages 5-11 are now eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine for children is a smaller dose and is given as a 2-dose series, three weeks apart. Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for this age group.

While young children often have milder symptoms with COVID-19 than most adults, outbreaks in children tend to be very common. In the past four weeks, 4.5 percent of COVID-19 cases have been in children up to 4 years old, 8.1 percent have been in ages 5 - 11, and 6.2 percent have been in adolescents 12 - 17 years of age. At times during this past summer and fall, as many as 55 children were hospitalized at any given time. During that same time period, up to 9 children were receiving ventilatory support.

In addition, it is important for children to stay healthy so they can remain in school. Parents and other interested persons are invited to view a Facebook Live update that will discuss COVID-19 vaccination in children ages 5 - 11. The Medical Association of the State of Alabama will host Kids and the COVID-19 Vaccine: Answers for Parents on Thursday, November 11, at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Aruna Arora, association president; Dr. Karen Landers, Alabama Department of Public Health; and Dr. David Kimberlin, UAB; will provide the update. Viewers may send in questions which will be answered as time permits. This update is available by going to the Medical Association of the State of Alabama’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MedicalAssnAlabama.