SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As of Monday, the youngest kids can now get the COVID-19 vaccine at the Chatham County Health Department.
Children 6 months to 5 years old are the last age group to become eligible for the vaccine. In mid-June, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines for young kids. The Chatham County Health Department will offer Pfizer’s dose, which is about one-tenth of what adults receive.
WSAV was told interest was low on day one, but health officials hope that will change.
“Any type of vaccine that comes out, anything that’s new, there’s going to be hesitant parents,” said Sierra Peebles, Chatham County nurse manager. “Our number one goal is to make sure that we educate parents on the safety and the efficacy of this vaccine. If we can vaccinate our little ones who pass on germs pretty easily just as children, hopefully, we can slow down that community spread through this too.”
Overall, kids under 18 have been slow to get the vaccine since they became eligible late last year. In Chatham County, 45% of kids age 10 to 14 have at least one dose. That number dips to 20% among 5 to 9-year-olds.
“Historically, children haven’t been affected by COVID as much, as far as illness and severity, but they still can get severely sick in some instances,” Peebles explained. “So, we’re just super excited that we can offer this to that population and, hopefully, that will cross over into less infections and less breakouts in daycares and schools.”
The nurse manager said parents can expect their kids to have side effects similar from other vaccines, including soreness or redness at the injection side and the chance of a small fever.
The Bryan County Health Department is offering Moderna’s vaccine for kids between 6 months and 6 years old, as well as anyone over 12 years old. They expect to add the 6 to 11 age group soon.
Glynn and Camden counties are also administering vaccines for young children.
There is no out-of-pocket cost to get vaccinated at the health department, but you do need to make an appointment.