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With Pediatric Doses Approved, Parents Head To Get Their Kids Vaccinated

Tse Cowan, 8, watches as Registered Nurse Sobrina Laurent, left, inoculates him with first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children five to 12 years, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, at P.S. 19 in the East Village neighborhood of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/AP
Last week, the CDC announced its recommendation for kids aged 5 to 11 years old to get vaccinated.

Central Ohio clinics and hospitals began offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced its recommendation for it. For some parents, it was a no-brainer to get their children vaccinated.

After the CDC's announcement last week recommending pediatric doses, hospitals like Nationwide Children's, Wexner Medical Center, and clinics like CVS pharmacies immediately followed suit in offering the vaccine to that age group.

Lara McKenzie is a mother to 10-year-old triplets who were vaccinated last Thursday at Nationwide Children's hospital. She said she wasn't the only one looking forward to the vaccination.

"They'd been asking for so long it seems, like, 'When can we get ours, when can we get ours?'" McKenzie said. "I sat them down to tell them, 'You're going to get it tomorrow after school.' And they were so excited, they had a lot of questions."

The excitement they had about getting their first dose was because they could be one step closer to returning to a normal social life, McKenzie added.

"They had a lot of questions about things like, 'Does this mean we can have sleep-overs again, does this mean we can go in friends' houses?'" she said. "They just knew it's going to be an entryway or a gateway for them to do some things they haven't been able to do for a long time."

However, not all parents are so eager to get their kids vaccinated. Nationally, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last month found 30% of parents polled would not get the vaccine for their kids aged 5 to 11.

But for McKenzie, while she had general concerns like if her kids would have side effects from the vaccine, they merely ended up walking away with sore arms.

"I know that was something that was on the top of my mind, like are we going to have three kids that don't feel very good the next day or how are we going to handle that?" McKenzie said. "So I felt like we tried to be prepared in that eventuality but it turned out they felt great."

As of Monday, Nationwide Children's alone has administered over 1,000 vaccines to kids ages 5 to 11.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.