Children’s Mercy weighs in as kids begin getting vaccines ahead of Thanksgiving

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The conversation about kids and the COVID-19 vaccine might be a big topic at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

The tenor of that conversation might vary family-to-family. But new statistics show that already 10% of eligible kids age 5-11 have gotten their first dose.

Demand for the vaccine remains high at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

One thing to remember here is that of the kids who have gotten their first dose, none of them have gotten their second yet. Another reminder is they will not be considered to have their protective immunity until two weeks after their second shots.

“Risk tolerance’ for families planning Thanksgiving get-togethers might be the main strategy headed into the holiday,” explained Dr. Angela Myers, head of the Infections Diseases Division at Children’s Mercy.

“One of the things to consider is, are the rest of the family members who are planning to gather together for thanksgiving vaccinated. That’s one of the key things to helping keeping people safe is that the adults are also vaccinated,” Myers said.

“Families really have to decide what their risk tolerance is. So, when you have a nice day and you can be outside then the risk of transmission is very very low. I don’t know what Thanksgiving Day is going to portend in terms of weather but oftentimes people do need to be inside. And so consideration of wearing masks or when you’re eating to kind of distance out if there are unvaccinated people are all things that you should consider,” Myers said.

Doctors at Children’s Mercy have not tracked or noticed any correlation between parents who are vaccinated and if they are more likely to take their children to get vaccinated.

But they have witnessed a steady stream of patients signing up for appointments.

“So certainly the demand is there. We are not filling every single appointment right now but the demand is still pretty high,” Chief Emergency Management Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Watts said.

“You know, it’s a little bit too early. We’ve had about 10% of children 5-11 years of age across the country get their dose one. But nobody’s got dose two yet. And remember you’re fully vaccinated that two weeks after dose two so we should start to see an impact hopefully sometime in December,” Myers said.

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