Douglas County officials, doctors prepare for children vaccine rollout
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Many parents have been waiting months to get their children protected against COVID-19 and doctors say that there’s lots of interest in the new vaccine.
“So we are already getting calls at our clinic from families that are interested in receiving the vaccine,” says Dr. Natalie Fleming, Pediatrician at Methodist Physicians Clinic. “I would say most pediatrician offices and health care systems in town are working on their plan fr how they’re going to get children vaccinated.”
Dr. Fleming says she hopes to get the vaccine to her patients as early as next week.
Young children will receive two smaller doses than adults and they will be three weeks apart. The smaller dose for children requires a small syringe, Dr. Fleming says her clinic has some small syringes but hope to get more.
“We have seen lots of back-ordered supplies limiting medical supplies in general just as the world continues to fight this pandemic and so having the right sized syringes to draw up the vaccine is important,” says Dr. Fleming.
The state will be responsible for distributing the vaccine. Douglas County Health Director Lindsay Huse told the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that the first round of doses won’t be enough to vaccinate all eligible children in the county.
“When I last checked there were about 60 thousand in the five to 11, give or take, that’s kind of an estimate,” says Dr. Huse. “From what I hear we will be getting about 20 thousand doses from the state to start with.”
Dr. Huse appeared before the Board of Commissioners remotely on Tuesday, she told the board that the Health Department is doing all it can to get ready for the vaccine rollout.
Dr. Huse also says she understands there are parents out there who will be hesitant to get their young children vaccinated but assures those parents that they are working to make it easy to get the shot.
“We are working currently with schools, we are working with pediatricians, we are working with our community partners to best optimize how we can get our five to 11 crowd vaccinated,” Dr. Huse says. “So all of those plans are ongoing, I can’t give you specifics right now because everything is kind of fluid and still moving.”
Dr. Huse tells 6 News that there was a slight decline in the number of cases among young children but that trend has reversed since about mid-October, increasing again. She says the greatest proportion of increased cases is happening in children ages five to nine.
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