Omaha healthcare workers push to get young people vaccinated

Published: May. 1, 2021 at 2:22 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Health officials are encouraging younger people to join their parents in getting vaccinated.

”We’re going to survive a pandemic.”

The excitement at NorthStar Foundation was palpable as healthcare workers with Children’s Hospital & Medical Center manned tables armed with Pfizer vaccines.

”Well I really feel like it’s our turn to jump in now, we’re seeing now that the 16-year-olds can get vaccinated and hopefully soon, 12 to 15,” said Dr. Sharon Stoolman, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

As the pandemic progresses, we’re starting to see the people affected by COVID start to get younger and younger.

“As summer activities increase, travel sports, in general people just want to get outside. It’s the younger people who are really being impacted by COVID,” said Dr. Stoolman.

In her own experience treating people at Children’s, Dr. Stoolman says she can see the ages of patients with severe impacts from COVID dropping.

”We are at risk, young people are at risk. We have, we’ve been caring for at least one or two patients a week at Children’s with since the beginning so we’re admitting babies, we’re admitting toddlers,” said Dr. Stoolman.

At today’s clinic in partnership with Douglas County Health Department, there were 500 doses available for walk-ins and those with appointments until 2 p.m.

Dr. Suzanne Haney, a pediatrician at Children’s brought her son in to get his shot.

”Just knowing that he’s going to be protected, and that also he’s not going to be able to pass it to somebody else who might be more at risk,” said Dr. Haney.

Now, she’s eagerly awaiting the approval of a vaccine for those even younger so her 14-year-old can be protected and they can travel as a family this summer.

“We’re going to be doing a family trip, going to meet my parents and my brother, again, all of them are finally vaccinated,” said Dr. Haney.

She hopes other parents of eligible kids talk to their own doctors and feel assured the vaccine is safe for their kids too.

Today’s clinic is good practice for healthcare workers at Children’s because emergency use authorization of a Pfizer for those 12 to 15 could happen any day now.

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