PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Now that the nation's youngest population can get the COVID-19 vaccine, local health care providers are waiting for the shipments to arrive in western Pennsylvania.
The news is the latest COVID development that many parents and doctors have been waiting to hear.
"It's been a long road," said Rachel Antin. "I'm really excited. I feel like this is a breath of fresh air. I feel relieved."
Antin has two young children, and her daughter is 3 years old.
"We vaccinate our kids for other things, and it's something we can do to protect our children and my family," said Antin.
The CDC recently approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children 6 months to 5 years old.
Health care providers will administer three shots of the Pfizer vaccine, which is one-tenth of the dose provided to adults or two shots of Moderna, which is one-fourth of the dose given to adults.
"The safety data for the vaccine is very good," said Dr. Jennifer Preiss, a primary care doctor for Allegheny Health Network. "There have been no deaths in the studies in both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in children of this age. There have been very, very mild complications of myocarditis that are very rare." Preiss said myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle.
She believes parents should get their children vaccinated right away, and it will help turn the pandemic into an endemic.
"It is important for children to get this vaccine because in addition to them getting sick with COVID, and they often don't get very sick, but they also have the ability to pass the virus on to people who are much more susceptible," said Dr. Preiss.
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