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Calhoun County superintendent says no mandate

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The pharmaceutical company Pfizer has issued reports that its life-saving COVID vaccine is safe for children ages five through 11, but the Calhoun County school system will stay out of families’ decisions on whether to accept the inoculation.

According to county school Superintendent Donald Turner, the board will not issue a mandate for students.

“We are leaving that decision up to the parents and the pediatricians,” Turner said after a budget report meeting Tuesday morning.

Pfizer and its partner company, BioNTech, will apply to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for emergency use for children in that age group.

Also attending the budget meeting was Angela Morgan, the UniServ District 14 director for the Alabama Education Association. Her job requires her to visit schools throughout Calhoun, Cleburne and Randolph counties, along with Jacksonville State University. She has no official role in the vaccination effort. 

“As far as me representing teachers,” Morgan said, “no one has said anything to me yet. Members of the AEA say vaccination should be a choice.”

Vaccines for children younger than five years old are not expected until later this year.