SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – On Thursday, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in the state of Georgia opened for anyone age 16 and older.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he wants local leaders and health care professionals to encourage community members and their kids to get immunized.
WSAV spoke with a local pediatrician about some of the concerns parents have and what doctors say is essential in our fight for herd immunity.
The two biggest concerns Dr. Ben Spitalnick said the Pediatric Associates of Savannah get are if you have had COVID-19 do you need the vaccine — and if you’re breastfeeding, should you get vaccinated? Spitalnick said in almost all cases, the answer is yes.
The pediatrician said he is thrilled kids 16 through 18 now have vaccine access.
All major COVID-19 vaccine providers are working with large research groups to study efficacy for kids down to the age of 12 and even younger. Spitalnick said he hopes school-aged children will get vaccine safety approval soon — describing the children struggling to adapt to the social changes created by the pandemic.
“After a year of kids having less participation in sports and more time at home, sometimes unsupervised, and a lot more snacking, we’re seeing obesity, we’re seeing depression, we’re seeing anxiety; and so the sooner we can get kids back to normal, back to social, the better,” Spitalnick explained.
Most pediatric clinics don’t have vaccines yet, but the Pediatric Associates of Savannah said they’re hoping to get doses in potentially as soon as the summer; or once the state has more vaccines available. With several child vaccine trials underway, Pfizer is the only approved vaccine right now for kids who are 16 and 17.
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