Mother explains reasons for getting Covid vaccine for 4-year-old

mother adjusting mask on child

This article appeared in News Channel 3. Read more here.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Covid vaccine for children under five years old, last month. Some parents say they are eager to get their kids the Covid vaccine, while others have reservations about it.

6 News spoke to a mother who got her four-year-old vaccinated Thursday.

The FDA granted emergency use authorization in June to Pfizer’s vaccine for kids six months to five years old — and to Moderna’s for kids six months to six years old.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates roughly 19 million Americans are under the age of five.

Deanna Martin, a physician’s assistant at Geisinger’s Grays Woods facility, tells me many parents have misconceptions about the Covid vaccine.

“A lot of parents really have a lot of concerns that this vaccine is still so new on the market,” she explained. “And that’s probably one of the biggest reasons that we see some hesitancy about getting the vaccine.”

“When you look at it, this vaccine has been tested so much more than a lot of the vaccines that we’ve had,” Martin continued. “You know, when you look at the measles, mumps, and rubella, those were tested over long periods of time with a smaller sample. But with the Covid vaccine, it was actually tested on a large number of people.”

Emilee Grupp took her four-year-old daughter, Niviene, to the facility for her Covid vaccine on Thursday. 6 News asked her what led her to make the decision.

“That’s multifactorial, but mostly, as a nurse, I have seen how not being vaccinated, vaccinated — it negatively impacts people,” she said. “I’ve seen, unfortunately, I’ve seen people die from having had Covid and it’s…just very important for me to maintain health. I have five children total, so, keeping everybody healthy is really important, for one.”

“They’re in school and we know that, like, three- and four-year-olds aren’t, you know, they’re in other’s faces,” Grupp also said. “They’re not super great with, like, washing their hands, like adults can be, so they can spread a lot germs a lot faster than you and I. So, it’s important to take all the necessary steps to keep them healthy.”

Some skeptics bring up potential side effects of the vaccine. However, Martin told us the kids are actually tolerating the vaccine better than the adults did.

“With the adults, especially if they had had Covid, with their first vaccine, they got a lot of fevers and body aches and really, really run down if they hadn’t had Covid,” she explained. “Their second vaccine, they just, they really felt like that got hit pretty hard. The kids were not seeing that. Yes, they might be a little bit achy or not quite themselves, and we will have the occasional kids that will get a little bit of a fever from it, but nowhere near the same kind of response of just really feeling wiped out like the adults did.”

Working in health care, Grupp told us she’s seen how deadly Covid can get.

“I mean, they should obviously speak with their pediatricians first and see if it’s right for them. But I do recommend that — being a, you know, a nurse — and again, seeing how not being vaccinated can affect people, I would definitely recommend it.”

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You’ve got questions. That’s a good thing.

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