COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With vaccination rates steadying in the state, the ripple effect is being felt among young children in central Ohio.
And as more and more schools move to remote learning, at least temporarily, some parents say keeping their children in school is providing extra motivation to see their children roll up their sleeves.
“I feel good about it,” says 9-year-old King Robinson just moments after receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As Robinson sits in the monitoring room, he’s reminded by his mother why he’s rolling up his sleeve.
“To stay healthy and so I can be around people,” King states.
“We want to make sure others are safe. And I’m a senior, and I’m raising King, and being 66 and my age. So there’s various reasons,” admits King’s mother Marsha Marshall.
But with just over 21% of children in King’s age group having started the vaccination process, it’s not only the health of others that has Marshall concerned.
“King has sickle cell. Which means he may be more susceptible,” Marshall says, describing the advice she received from her son’s doctors.
A fourth-grade student in the Worthington school district, King has continued in-person education despite central Ohio’s rising case numbers.
“Last year and the year before he was being virtually educated, and it was kind of difficult for him to sit and go through those hours,” Marshall recalls. “But there’s nothing like hands on. So, now he’s at the playground with the other kids, and lunch, and he loves it.”
Several Columbus city schools have moved to remote learning in response to staffing shortages and the growing spread.
A reality shared by a number of schools across central Ohio.
“I feel better now that he has his second dose. And his class, for the majority of the class, is also vaxxed,” adds Marshall about her comfort level with in-person classes.
Of the state’s more than 2,800 cases among school age children, 3% have resulted in hospitalizations.
Still, health experts encourage vaccinations for the younger population — a decision King took himself.
“Yes, he wanted to get it. He’s informed enough to realize and be part of that decision,” says Marshall.
And with schools teetering on the brink of tough decision, King has words of motivation for his classmates.
“To not be scared,” King encourages.
For parents interested in scheduling a vaccine for their children, vaccine clinics are available at Columbus Public Health. For times and information, you can visit their website.