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First pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for new age group given

First pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for new age group given
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:52 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ)- A little nervous for what was to come, 15-month-old Anders sat in his Mom’s lap in an exam room decorated by dinosaurs.

He’s the first in the newest age group just approved to get his COVID-19 pediatric vaccine at Valley Health Inc. Kid Care.

“We wanted him to get the vaccine because we’re going on a trip to the Dominican at the end of July. We wanted him to have protection,” said Lydia Ritchie, Anders’ mother.

The CDC and the FDA gave the green light for children 6 months old and older to receive a COVID-19 vaccination throughout the region.

Valley Health says both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available.

The Pfizer vaccine is for kids 6 months through 4 years, while the Moderna is for kids 6 months through 5 years.

“Most of us have been vaccinated. Most young people are like sitting ducks because a lot have been protected, haven’t been infected or vaccinated. I applaud the science every time the vaccine is rolled down to a new age group,” said pediatrician Dr. Robin Darnell.

A majority of state laws prohibit pharmacists from vaccinating children under the age of three, according to the PREP act.

Dr. Darnell encourages parents to schedule an appointment with their child’s doctor or a nearby health department.

“It takes multiple people to give a 12 month old a vaccine. We have to make sure their held correctly while someone else gives the vaccine. Parents often don’t want to hold their child down. It can be uncomfortable for them, but a pediatrician office or the the health department has enough staff or knowledge could,” Darnell said.

Darnell recommends parents get their children vaccinated earlier than later because it takes several weeks for a child’s body to build immunity.

You can visit Valley Health Systems online at www.valleyhealth.org to set up an appointment.

Earlier this week, the Kanawha Charleston Health Department placed its first order for this age group.

SOMC is also offering pediatric vaccines.

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