JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The White House COVID-19 response team is urging parents to get their young children vaccinated as the country begins to rollout vaccines for children under 5 years old.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator, wanted to “set the record straight because the data is actually quite clear. Kids are better protected if they are vaccinated.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave approval for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be given to children 6 months and older, over the weekend.
“During the Omicron wave, we had a huge spike in COVID-19 cases among children, and highest hospitalization rates in children than in any other rate in this pandemic, especially among our youngest, ages 6 months to 4 years, who had the highest rate of hospitalization among any age group under the age of 17,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
Federal health officials said 13,000 locations nationwide have received vaccines for small children so far.
The CDC’s approval “makes 20 million children eligible for vaccines,” Walensky said.
“I know there’s been a great deal of anticipation for parents surrounding the authorization and recommendation for our youngest children, and for many, it comes as a welcome relief,” he stated.
The White House response team encouraged parents to speak to their pediatricians and pharmacists about their questions and concerns about the vaccine.
Sulzbacher Village Pediatrician Health Center on Springfield Boulevard is having a vaccination event this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for kids as young as six months old. Sulzbacher did not mention whether they were administering the Pfizer or Moderna shot -- or both -- but parents can stop by without an appointment.
Two Walgreens locations in Springfield and Julington Creek are also offering Pzifer doses for that age group.
You can find more COVID-19 vaccine locations at vaccines.gov.