Local doctor, parents eager to start scheduling COVID shots in kids as young as 5

Coronavirus

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) – A group of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisers voted to recommend Pfizer COVID vaccinations begin in children ages five to 11 under emergency use authorization.

If approved by the CDC director, some of the youngest Americans would soon have access to COVID vaccinations, a fact many parents have eagerly awaited.

“My husband and I definitely fall into the enthusiastic vaccine camp, I guess you would call it,” said Rachel Morse of University Heights.

Morse, a mother to four young girls, says the constant worry of the pandemic has taken an emotional toll.

She said she is not concerned about being among the first to get her children under 9 years old vaccinated.

“I feel like they really studied this and we always say these are the smartest people in the world. They are working on this project and they’ve gone through all the necessary processes,” said Morse.

Her children’s pediatrician, Dr. Shelly Senders of Senders Pediatrics in South Euclid, preordered 900 doses of the child-size Pfizer vaccine from the Ohio Department of Health. He expects the shipment to arrive any day.

“I think we’re all looking at this with a lot of anticipation,” he said.

Dr. Senders is planning to begin vaccinations for thousands of his patients in this age group next week pending final approval from the CDC.

The practice is currently working to set up an outdoor vaccination event as well this month.

He said parents tend to fall into three categories: those eager to get the shot for their children, those who strongly object and parents taking the wait and see approach.

“We believe that vaccinating younger children gives our country an opportunity to get back to a more normal situation, to get back to a situation where we can be indoors without masks instead of just outdoors,” said Dr. Senders.

Senders Pediatrics participated in Pfizer vaccine trials for children as young as five with nearly 100 local patients enrolled in the study.

“This disease causes bad symptoms in children. There have been hundreds of children in local ICUs, much less around the country, who have been fighting for their lives,” he said about the importance of vaccination.

As Morse waits for the chance to schedule a vaccination for her children, she believes the opportunity to get the shot cannot come soon enough.

“It will just relieve so much anxiety that we just can’t wait,” she said.

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