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First kids under 5 receive COVID-19 vaccine in Douglas County

Today is the first day a child six months to five years old can receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s a day that couldn’t come soon enough for some families.

Two-year-old’s Eloise Manderfeld and Michael Rogel Kronschnabel were all smiles Tuesday morning upon arrival at the Douglas County Health Department.

“It’s very exciting,” says Eloise’s mother Leah Casanave. “I’m just ecstatic that it’s finally happening. We’ve waited long enough.”

Last week when the FDA gave the green light for kids as little as 6 months of age to get Pfizer and Moderna vaccines under EUA, both Leah and Michael’s mother, Diana Rogel, didn’t hesitate to sign up.

“I had Michael in June [2020] so all throughout that time it was very up and down,” says Rogel. “We didn’t know what was going on with the pandemic and also ‘could he get it?’”

According to the Health Dept., COVID has become one of the top 10 causes of pediatric death, with thousands of kids and teens sent to the hospital.

Both families have had to deal with the virus. Eloise contracted coronavirus herself.

“I mean she had it and was asymptomatic but she also gave it to our mother-in-law and her sister,” says Leah.

Members of Michael’s household came down with Omicron back in December.

“The two of us in the household that had it were around him for the most part and he didn’t react to it, he didn’t have any symptoms, so we didn’t get him tested. But who’s to say whether or not he had it,” says Diana.

When it came time for the shot, a few tears were shed. But marshmallows and stickers were a quick solution to the crying.

“Even still, we don’t know the effects of long covid on kids. So I think for me that’s the big thing. Even though she had it, she has some immunity right now, I still feel the need to get her vaccinated,” says Leah.

Michael received the Moderna shot. It’s a two-dose series, so he’ll come back in four weeks for the next shot.

Eloise received Pfizer, which is a slightly longer process with three shots. The first two doses are given three weeks apart and the third dose happens eight weeks later.

These moms say it’s a sigh of relief.

“I did my best to try to get vaccinated as soon as I could, breastfeeding him and trying to pass on whatever antibodies I could. So now that we get this chance it’s just absolutely thrilling for me,” says Diana.

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