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Local pharmacies and doctor's offices now have COVID-19 shot for kids as young as 6 months

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Posted at 7:13 AM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 07:35:41-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla.  — “Can’t believe we’ve been doing it this long,” said Dr. Nicolette Mathey, Pharmacist and Owner of Palm Harbor Pharmacy.

Palm Harbor Pharmacy has been serving the community throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, offering everything from testing to vaccines.

“We just received the latest batch for the youngest and it’s approved right now for ages 6 months to 5 years. However, pharmacists can only vaccinate children ages 3 and older,” said Mathey.

Palm Harbor Pharmacy hasn't seen a ton of demand there for this shot yet.

“We’re just seeing a couple requests here and there for pediatric vaccines,” said Mathey.

That’s not the case for doctor’s offices like North Pinellas Children’s Medical Center, especially because they’re able to vaccinate kids under 3.

“It’s actually been overwhelmingly positive so far with the rollout,” said Dr. Lisa Cronin, General Pediatrician at North Pinellas Children’s Medical Center.

Doctors told ABC Action News that there was some confusion at first about how to order the COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5.

“Initially it was really difficult,” said Cronin.

However, once facilities figured it out that changed.

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“Our shipments came in super, super fast and we had our vaccines really it was only a little over 24 hours after placing our order which was really, really exciting,” said Cronin.
Many pediatrician’s offices now have the shot and are seeing high demand.

“We’ve already had to put in follow-up orders a couple of times now because we’re pretty quickly going through all of the stock that we’ve had,” said Cronin.

“There are a lot of parents that have been anxiously awaiting this and are happy that it’s here,” she added.

Doctors said having this vaccine available is especially important right now as pediatric COVID cases rise again.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports more kids are testing positive again.

“Children 6 months to 4 years, they have some of the highest rates of ER visits for COVID and some of the highest hospitalization rates for COVID, especially since the omicron wave hit in January,” said Cronin.

Many pediatricians believe this is just one reason why their young patients should get the shot.

“The vaccine definitely offers a lot of benefits that immunity from having an infection may not offer you,” said Cronin.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are available to children as young as 6 months. The Pfizer shot is a 3-dose series and the Moderna vaccines is a 2-dose series.

“In the studies, there is a slightly higher chance of fever with the Moderna vaccine so I definitely share that with my parents,” said Cronin.

According to health experts, with either vaccine kids may experience mild side effects like they would with any other shot. Those include:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • soreness at the injection site
  • fussiness for infants

“It’s safe to give them a dose of Tylenol. It’s safe to give them a dose of Motrin. Usually, those side effects, if there are any, will only last for 24-48 hours,” said Cronin.
“Hydration is really important. We tell all our patients no matter the age to make sure to hydrate really well,” said Mathey.

“We’ve been noticing that kids are really resilient, and they tend to do the best out of anybody,” she added.