Children Health

Health Systems Seeing ‘A Bunch’ Of Children Getting COVID-19 Vaccinations – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Across the country, the White House estimates about one million kids are now vaccinated against COVID-19.

For the most part in our area, our bigger institutions are seeing a steady stream of people signing up for shots. Smaller facilities are seeing fewer children than expected.

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“I’m pretty excited for this one to get vaccinated. That way we can actually not have to worry about this,” Mike Cellurale said in reference to his daughter.

She falls into the 5- to 11-year-old category. He said it’s the earliest he could get his child in for a shot because of people signing up.

“To just be safe. It’s a safe thing to do,” Cellurale said.

AHN and UPMC said there is plenty of vaccine supply.

“We’re seeing a bunch of kids that want to get vaccinated. A bunch of kids that are trying to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” AHN System Chair of Pediatrics Dr. Joseph Aracri said. “We also have a whole bunch of families that have lots of questions. There’s been a lot of education that’s been going along with it.”

For some smaller facilities like Hilltop Pharmacy in Allentown, it’s been slow so far. Pharmacy Owner Dr. Alex Rothey said only about 10 children have rolled up their sleeves this week.

“We’re not really surprised about that. I know there is a lot of hesitancy around this,” Dr. Rothey said.

She said there is data that only about 30% of children will get the shots. Some parents told KDKA on social media that there’s no way the shot is going into their children’s arms. In most cases, they don’t trust it.

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“Nothing crazy is happening. No one is missing school because they’re getting vaccinated. Just a little bit of a sore arm and maybe a little tough night. It’s worth it in the end,” Dr. Rothey said.

With children on the bubble of 11 or 12, doctors said they are to get the shot for their age group because that is how the vaccines were studied.

“It could be a very heavy 11-year-old, they will still get the pediatric dose. Or a very light 12-year-old, they will get the adult dose. It has nothing to do with weight. It is completely age-based,” Dr. Aracri said.

They also advise you should not wait for your 11-year-old to become 12 to get the adult vaccine. They recommend the sooner the better.

“It’s going to be okay. Kids are incredible, they are building antibodies very quickly and at a level where adults weren’t in the beginning,” Dr. Rothey said.

For parents like Cellurale, he is hoping more parents come around and get their children vaccinated. He said COVID-19 is still dangerous.

“Can’t stress enough that it’s a real thing,” he said.

He said this should allow for a safer holiday season.

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Hilltop Pharmacy, AHN and UPMC are among those giving COVID-19 shots to kids.

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