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Finally, Covid vaccines for the little ones

caption: Estella gets her first Covid-19 vaccine at a Seattle Children's clinic for children under five on June 21, 2022.
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Estella gets her first Covid-19 vaccine at a Seattle Children's clinic for children under five on June 21, 2022.
Photo by Kate Walters / KUOW

We've hit a new milestone in our fight against the pandemic.

As of June 21, children under the age of 5 are finally able to receive a vaccination against Covid-19.

KUOW reporter Kate Walters talked to parents getting their young children vaccinated at Seattle Children’s Hospital on the first day that doses were available.

For Whitney Stohr’s family, it’s a relief to be able to move forward after having a feeling of being left behind.

“We were left behind because everyone else got to move ahead and got to normalize their life again," she explained. "They got to get their shots, and as soon as they got their shots, the world moved forward and we didn’t get to.”

RELATED: Kids under 5 receive first Covid-19 doses in Seattle

Edwin Lindo expressed gratitude for the care in explaining exactly how things work at Seattle Children’s.

“You have folks at Seattle Children's,” Lindo said, “our pediatrician that takes the time to explain what this vaccine is, what it means.”

As for Kate Walters, she hasn’t been able to book an appointment for her young son yet, and that has brought along its own frustrations.

“It's a little frustrating to be honest with you, you know, we're on several waitlists at the moment, but the only appointment I've actually been able to schedule is about two months out, which is not ideal,” Walters explained. “That said, we're keeping an eye out for community clinics and things like that. And it should get easier to schedule appointments in the coming weeks.”

Once parents get an appointment, the next question is generally, “Which vaccine should I get?” Dr. Mark Del Beccaro with public health - Seattle and King County responded this way: “Take the vaccine you can get.”

But Dr. Del Beccaro said Moderna’s two-dose option might be slightly more attractive for parents who have plans in the near future.

“There's some data because Moderna is two shots, that you will get to your higher antibody response faster because you only need two shots as opposed to three,” he explained.

For a lot of families, this new vaccine regimen for younger kids feels like a light at the end of a very long tunnel. But Walters reminds parents that the fight isn’t quite over once a child receives that first dose.

“While this is a really bright spot for many of us, it isn't a magic bullet,” she said. “This is not the thing that ends the pandemic. Kids can still get Covid, as many of us can.”

Walters said what the vaccine for young children does offer is peace of mind.

“If he does get Covid, I don't need to be quite so stressed that that's going to mean we will end up in the hospital,” she said. “I think, it's a moment for some of us to be able to just breathe a sigh of relief and move forward the way some of the rest of the population has already done.”

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