Delmarva parents react to COVID-19 vaccine rollout for children under five
DELMARVA – Parents across Delmarva are reacting as health officials prepare to rollout the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of five.
“One of the biggest questions and concerns is, is it safe? And the great news is, the trials that have been completed for both Pfizer and Moderna show a great safety profile for these vaccines,” explained Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health.
For some parents, news of the vaccine’s release comes as a relief.
“I can understand a family being nervous about it, and I can understand having questions about it,” said Lauren Bossert, a local parent. “Personally, for our family, my husband and I got the vaccine and it kept us safe, and we want to keep our one and a half year old daughter safe too so, we’re gonna trust the science and we’re gonna get the vaccine for her when it becomes available.”
While many parents awaited the opportunity to vaccinate their child, there are others who are not convinced there has been enough time and research to ensure it’s as safe as health experts suggest.
“I don’t feel like it’s been around long enough and I almost feel like it’s treating them like lab rats,” explained Michelle Hoover, a concerned parent. “Like maybe in 20 years I would feel comfortable, but it just hasn’t been around long enough.”
For the parents who may still be on the fence, Dr. Rattay says talking to your child’s doctor could help a lot.
“A lot of parents feel more comfortable getting the vaccine for younger kids at their pediatric provider, which we certainly understand, so we recommend call your pediatrician, call your child’s doctor,” Dr. Rattay stressed. “Find out if they’re vaccinating, when they’re going to start vaccinating, and get your child scheduled.”
There’s a general consensus that younger children don’t get as sick from COVID-19 when compared to older adolescents and adults, and while that may be the case for most children, it’s not the case for all, according to Dr. Rattay who emphasized how the virus has become a leading cause of pediatric deaths.
“We know that a lot of parents say, ‘hey, the youngest kids don’t get as sick from COVID,’ but the reality is we’ve had tens of thousands of hospitalizations among the pediatric population in our nation,” Dr. Rattay stated. “It’s in the top ten reasons for pediatric deaths in our country in the last couple of years.”
As the vaccine rollout continues, health officials project that most doctors offices, pharmacies, and vaccination sites should have the shots available by the end of the month. The vaccine will be offered for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years of age.
Not all pharmacies will vaccinate children under the age of three. Parents are encouraged to visit vaccines.gov for a full list of participating locations.