Omaha metro parents rush to get kids fully vaccinated by Christmas

Published: Nov. 20, 2021 at 6:52 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Saturday is the deadline to get your kids their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order for them to be fully vaccinated by Christmas.

Parents across the Omaha metro took advantage of vaccine clinics today to make sure they can celebrate the holidays safely. This is the moment 7-year-old Hudson Villwok has been waiting for.

“I just got my vaccine!”

He’s one of many kids getting their first dose at a Douglas County Health Department vaccine clinic. His mom, Nicolette, says her family is timing it out so they can safely celebrate Christmas together next month.

“I mean certainly having a conversation with my husband and having that dialog of ok, what do we want to do? And making sure we plan for the holidays is kind of the big factor for us,” said Nicolette Villwok, Hudson’s mom.

Infectious disease experts say children play a crucial role in community transmission and making sure kids are vaccinated in time for the holidays keeps the entire family safe.

“We are very fortunate that the vaccine is now available for kids down to age 5 and that it appears to be quite safe and quite effective. Just like it is in adults,” said Dr. Mark Rupp, Nebraska Medicine’s Chief of Infectious Diseases.

Experts say we might not see the number of COVID-19 cases go down right away, though.

“I don’t think it will be reflective by Christmas for a number of reasons. Whenever we institute vaccinations there is always a bit of a lag and that’s also true when, say for instance, when Delta comes or a variant comes, there’s always a bit of a lag between when something happens and when you actually see the outcome of that intervention,” said Dr. Jessica Jones, Methodist Infectious Disease Specialist.

Parents like Nicolette say having the vaccine available means the holidays will be a lot different this year.

“We want to be able to spend some time with friends and family over the holidays and feel a little bit safer as we go into those situations. There is a lot of family gatherings so this way we keep them safe and we keep him safe, too.”

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