SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – About 37 percent of Georgia children between the ages of 10 and 14 have had one dose of the COVID vaccine. In Chatham County, it’s also just over 37 percent.

Dr. Michael Bossak, the director of pediatric hospital medicine at the Children’s Hospital in Savannah would like to see the numbers much higher, especially as the omicron variant is spreading.

“I think it’s important for parents to know that kids are still getting this,” said Bossak. “We are seeing a much higher positive rate this go around with the omicron variant than we were previously and we’re seeing a lot more kids that are being hospitalized for COVID.”

“Over the past couple of weeks, the age groups have been in the younger age groups for those kids, mostly kids that are unvaccinated or can’t get vaccinated.”

Currently, there are three pediatric patients at Children’s Hospital.

Bossak is appealing to parents to consider having their child get the shot. He says there may be more parents listening because of recent school closures.

“And it’s become more obvious in the community for children because they’re seeing it in schools and school closures and classrooms getting closed and kids being sent home,” said Bossak.

He also said there is no telling how one child is going to react, just as there is no way to tell how one adult will react to the virus.

“Everyone’s COVID seems to hit them a little bit differently,” he said.

Bossak also said doctors are noticing a new thing with omicron and children.

“There is a significant respiratory distress that goes along with this variant that we did not see previously,” he explained. “We are seeing a lot of croup that is going around the community that is COVID related, and is a lot more severe than the typical ‘run of the mill croup’ that we see yearly.”

He is urging people who can to vaccinate their children and reminds the community that the Children’s Hospital (4700 Waters Ave.) has a clinic every Thursday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

“We are giving out Pfizer shots to children ages 5 and up and, really, to adults as well. So anybody who needs their first, second or booster can come and get that shot here,” he said

There is no appointment necessary and Bossak says they just check-in at the hospital lobby for registration.

He also says you can check with your pediatrician or the health department about child COVID vaccines.