KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The news pediatricians have awaited for two years has arrived.
Beginning this week, COVID-19 vaccinations will be available for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Doctors told FOX4 there will be parents reluctant to vaccinate their little ones.
More than 25 million kids in the United States, all of whom are kindergarten aged or younger, are now eligible for vaccinations for the first time, more than two years after the pandemic first struck.
Retailers FOX4 spoke with on Monday said doses are being shipped to merchants and pediatricians.
“That’s the other question I get frequently: ‘Would you vaccinate your own children?’ I’m like, I’ll do it as soon as possible,” Dr. Ryan Smith, a pediatrician with the University of Kansas Health System, said.
Doctors at that hospital expressed concern over a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which said 27% of families won’t get their kids vaccinated, and another 40% are undecided.
“These are things obstetricians think about to improve treatments, and we have interventions. It made perfect sense to add this to the list of preventive measures we have to prevent mortality,” Dr. Kevin Ault, an obstetrician with the University of Kansas Health System, said on Monday.
Parents who wish to vaccinate children aged 3 years to 6 months will need to see their pediatricians instead of a retailer, as covered under the Prep Act.
Dr. Sarah Boyd, an infectious disease expert with St. Luke’s Health System, said your kids have been vulnerable throughout the pandemic since preschools and daycares keep them in close quarters.
“We know children can be at risk to spread to others, such as grandparents or parents, who might be at higher risk. That could be another potential source of spread within our community,” Boyd said.
Retailers such as CVS, Walgreens and Hy-Vee plan to start offering vaccination appointments for kids aged three-to-five online — much the way they did for adults.
One pediatrician told FOX4 more parents who aren’t onboard yet might be more open minded as school approaches in the fall, and older siblings go back to class.