Kentucky parents divided on COVID vaccine for younger kids

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Posted at 7:45 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 19:45:49-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky kids ages five to 11 could get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shortly after Halloween, and pediatricians like Dr. Beth Hawse are gearing up to play a major role in the White House roll-out.

She estimates 2,000 of her patients will qualify, and she says many children are eager to get vaccinated.

“In all my years as a pediatrician, I have never heard kids ask when they will be able to come in and get a vaccine,” she told LEX 18.

So how do parents feel about vaccinating their kids? A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 1/3 of parents will vaccinate their kids as soon as the shot becomes available. But about the same amount reported they will absolutely not vaccinate their children, or do so only if they have to.

At Woodland Park, a Lexington mother of a one-year-old said she’s thought about what she would do if her son was the right age for this vaccine.

“I would let him get it,” said Ashlea McDonald. “Obviously some people don’t trust it, but I’m a firm believer in science.”

We spoke with another mom of four who said she won’t be signing her kids up for this vaccine.

“I would like longer time than that, to try it on my kids,” she said.

Dr. Hawse says now is the time to speak with a doctor and your kids, so your family is ready when the chance to vaccinate arrives. She says kids might be more anxious about the vaccine than adults, so it’s important to answer their questions beforehand. She advises parents to let kids know the shot is a smaller needle, similar to the flu shot.