NORFOLK, Va. — Now, millions more children can get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced parents can get doses for kids ages 6 months to 5 years old.
“It is important with the amount of the virus that is still around, that we get our youngest kids immunized and protected as well,” said Dr. Douglas Mitchell.
Dr. Mitchell is the medical director at CHKD Medical Group and a pediatrician at Norfolk Pediatrics. He said COVID-19 vaccine doses should arrive any day.
“We absolutely recommend the vaccine for all kids that are now eligible,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Some parents in Hampton Roads said they’ve waited a long time for the CDC’s approval.
“I texted my pediatrician to let me know as soon as they got doses,” said Tamea Harris, a mother and Chesapeake resident.
Harris said her 4-year-old son, Gabriel, was a micro-preemie.
“He was only a pound and two ounces when he was born, so we’ve had to do shots every fall for RSV to keep him protected,” Harris said. “We had to keep him isolated in the house.”
She said she wants to get him the extra protection.
“We have an opportunity to be a little bit more free, so that is what we are doing,” Harris said.
Some parents voiced their concerns on social media, saying they don’t want their kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Others say they have questions for their child’s doctor first.
One mother commented she is concerned about the vaccine dosage when it comes to a younger child’s weight. But Dr. Mitchell said there is no need to worry.
“It is perfectly safe. It is not based on size at all. It is age-based,” Dr. Mitchell said. “They took it down to a small, low dose.”
Dr. Mitchell said the new age recommendation is the same for the flu shot.
“So, that is the reason for choosing that age group, and we will be recommending those at the same time when flu vaccines become available this coming year,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Dr. Mitchell said younger children could experience some achiness or fussiness after getting their COVID vaccine dose, but said their symptoms are milder than an adult.
The CDC said they are rolling out the new doses to pediatrician practices, health departments, and pharmacies this week.