Local pediatricians work to combat vaccine hesitancy amid FDA granting emergency approval of COVID-19 shot for younger kids

Local pediatricians work to combat vaccine hesitancy amid FDA granting emergency approval of COVID-19 shot for younger kids
Photo credit Nancy Harty/ WBBM Newsradio

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) —Now that the Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use approval, some local pediatricians’ offices are just waiting on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to start giving COVID-19 shots to kids ages 5 to 11.

Some doctors said they’ve been encouraging parents and answering questions about it for months.

For 8-year-old Kayleigh McInerney of Park Ridge, getting her flu shot was kind of a test run for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

When asked how it went, she replied, “Good.”

She pushed up her sleeve at Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance outpatient center where Dr. Frank Belmonte, chief medical officer at Advocate Children’s Hospital, told reporters they’re making sure pediatricians are available for unsure parents like they did for the 12- to 16-year-old group.

Local pediatricians work to combat vaccine hesitancy amid FDA granting emergency approval of COVID-19 shot for younger kids
Photo credit Nancy Harty/ WBBM Newsradio

“We had about 25% of the parents who were initially vaccine hesitant, once they talked to their primary care physician, actually decided to proceed with the vaccine. So we know that there is power in that relationship,” Belmonte said.

Belmonte said they already have the vials for 5 to 11 year olds in stock and predict they could begin giving shots as early as next week.