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Monday morning, one-year-old Sam Wooden sat for his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
His dad, Kent County Commissioner Stephen Wooden, said he “took it like a champ.”
“He barely flinched,” said Wooden, “To be honest, he ended up taking the shot better than I did.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the vaccine for children six months to five years old this month. Last week, some areas were offering the vaccine, like the Kent County Health Department. Now, more pediatricians and public health offices are administering the doses.
“We’ve seen a lot of folks who have gotten seriously sick from this,” said Wooden, “Even though younger folks are less likely to get sick, young folks, toddlers and little ones can get sick from this virus. We wanted to make sure he got the fullest protection he could get.”
Kent County Health Department was “filling up appointments” last week once they began offering them. They now have clinics open and available slots for appointments.
“The vaccines are safe,” said Brian Hartl, Supervising Epidemiologist with KCHD, “They’ve gone through a rigorous safety protocol and efficacy protocol to make sure that these are good vaccines.”
Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are now available for the young children. Moderna is two doses, while Pfizer is three.
Hartl recommends parents start planning ahead now if they want their children fully vaccinated before school begins in the fall.
“The spacing between the two vaccines, Moderna is four weeks between the two vaccines,” said Hartl, “Pfizer is three weeks between the first two and eight weeks between the second and the third. So, if you’re thinking about school, to be fully vaccinated you have to plan ahead a little bit. So, it’s never too late to start.”
Wooden said he understands there are many questions parents have about the vaccine, especially for the young ones. However, they felt getting Sam vaccinated was best for him and their family.
“We’re doing our part to really kick COVID to the curb as much as we can,” said Wooden, “We have immunocompromised folks in our family. That added level of protection for him also protects the other people in our lives.”
Health care providers in West Michigan have available for COVID-19 vaccines for kids 5 and under here.