Huntsville leaders react to vaccine eligibility expanding, changes to CDC masking guidance

Vaccinated Alabamians can now return to some pre-pandemic normalcy. The CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can go without their masks in indoor spaces and in large gatherings outside.

Posted: May 13, 2021 5:32 PM
Updated: May 13, 2021 6:10 PM

Huntsville city officials met Thursday to discuss coronavirus vaccination efforts and the expansion of eligibility to children 12 years old and up.

Tracy Doughty, Vice President of Operations at Huntsville Hospital, said if you’re hesitant to sign your child up for a vaccine to speak with your child’s pediatrician.

“Like wearing a mask, at some point, it’s a personal choice and you have to do what’s best for your family,” said Doughty. “We would encourage it, but it’s the parents’ choice.”

Vaccines are currently available at CVS, Walgreens and Huntsville Hospital System clinics. In Madison County, 44% of Alabamians have received the first dose of the vaccine.

Vaccinated Alabamians can now return to some pre-pandemic normalcy. The CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can go without their masks in indoor spaces and in large gatherings outside.

Mayor Tommy Battle said he’s expecting that by July 4, the pandemic is in the “rear-view mirror.”

EMA Director, Jeff Birdwell, said that the state isn’t ready to eliminate masks all together.

“There’s not a lot of community spread out there, and that’s one thing that we’re looking forward to,” said Birdwell. “As far as totally getting rid of them, me, personally, I don’t think we’re there yet."

According to the CDC, even if you’re fully vaccinated, you must wear your mask in small indoor spaces, like a train, plane or bus.

Mayor Battle said when the health order expires on May 31, it will be personal responsibility to wear your mask.

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