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Oregon, Wash. pediatric clinics start giving COVID shots to kids under 5 years old

KATU Portland logo KATU Portland 6/24/2022 KATU Staff
© Provided by KATU Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 vaccine shots are now starting to go in the arms of Oregon's youngest kids.

Thursday was the first day Randall Children's Pediatric Clinic administered the new child dose of coronavirus vaccines.

Just last week, the CDC and FDA gave emergency authorization for kids as young as six months to get the shot.

RELATED | Oregon, Washington recommend COVID shots for children 6 months and up

Three-year-old Abraham and his mom Wendy were in the clinic Thursday morning. She's also the medical director of Randall Children's Pediatric ICU and talked to us about the relief.

“For the first time in the pandemic, this is something that I could do to protect my child that's not masking, not keeping him home, but something that I could give my child that can allow him to go out in the world and live his life,” said Dr. Wendy Hasson, medical director for Randall Children's Pediatric ICU.

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey taken back in April, before the authorization process was done, shows just 18% of parents with children under 5 would vaccinate their kids right away.

Dr. Hasson said they are asking parents not to wait to get their children a vaccine shot.

OREGON VACCINE LOCATOR  |  WASHINGTON VACCINE LOCATOR

“I’m telling them don’t take that chance. I’ll tell you, no parent that has been admitted to my ICU expected to be there. None of them,” Dr. Hasson said.

Randall Children’s Hospital, like many large providers around the Portland metro area, have not yet set up designated walk-up clinics for parents to get their youngest kids vaccinated. Staff is encouraging families to contact their pediatricians directly about getting the shot.

A spokesperson with the Oregon Health Authority told KATU that, as of Tuesday, a total of 51,200 doses of vaccines for children 5 and under have been shipped, though they expect additional doses to be arriving later this week.

“To compare that supply to likely demand, there are 230,000 children in Oregon between 6 months and five years old. After the COVID vaccine became available to 5- to 11-year-olds in Oregon last fall, about 27% of that group had received vaccines in the first 10 weeks. If 27% of children 6 months to under 5 years get the new vaccines in the same time period, that would amount to about 62,000 children wanting and receiving the vaccine in the first 10 weeks,” said Rudy Owens, an OHA spokesperson.

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