COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Starting this week, babies as young as six months old will be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave final approval this weekend.
Medical providers in central Ohio are now getting ready to start giving those shots, with Ohio’s health director saying the first deliveries of the vaccine should arrive by Monday.
Some parents have still been very cautious with their children who are too young to be vaccinated to this point and said they’re excited about the change.
“We’ve been waiting for this and it’s going to kind of open up the world for them, in a way,” said Jessica Clinger, the mother of three children all under the age of five: 18-month-old twin girls and a 4-year-old son, all too young to be vaccinated.
“In a lot of ways, my kids haven’t been out and done a whole lot because of the pandemic and being cautious, so I think this, in a way, can kind of open up the world to them a little bit and make us feel a little bit safer and reassured,” she said.
Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for children under five through as young as six months just received the final step in the approval process this weekend. Ohio Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said providers have been preparing.
While generally, the youngest age range is at a lower risk, Vanderhoff said Ohio has seen 1,500 hospitalizations and 10 deaths in that age group.
“Whether they are young or old, the fact is the more Ohioans who are vaccinated, the better our chances of avoiding serious illness and disruptions to our daily lives,” he said.
According to Vanderhoff, deliveries of the vaccines are expected to start Monday.
“I’m very excited,” said Columbus mother Mary Hall. “We’ve been pretty isolated this whole time.”
But not all parents of children in the newly eligible age group are excited. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey from May showed about 18 percent of parents with children under 5 years old plan on getting them vaccinated as soon as a shot was approved, while 38 percent are planning to wait and see how other young children respond to the shots.
“I’m not really big on a lot of medicines, so I’m more of a natural way to heal it out, take the time and go through it, let it do its course,” said Columbus mother Shanice Nuzum.
Clinger plans on calling early this week to make an appointment for her three children.
“To be able to be vaccinated and now my kids can be vaccinated, it is a relief for me having, like, ridden this roller coaster,” she said.
Vanderhoff urges those who are planning on getting their children vaccinated to check with their pediatrician for when and which shot they should receive.