Mississippians prepare for vaccines to roll out to 5-11 year olds

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:51 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tuesday, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 shot.

Anna Galvis says the green light for 5-11 year olds to get the COVID vaccine is what she’s been waiting on for months. And she’ll be among the first to schedule her daughter’s doses.

“She’s like every five-year-old, she doesn’t like shots,” described Galvis. “But she also really, really wants coronavirus to go away. She knows we can’t go back to Disney World until it goes away. She, you know, when friends get sick, we can’t have play dates. So, I think she is kind of ready for normalcy to come back.”

Mississippi parents shouldn’t have to play a waiting game for the kid-sized doses. The state took the steps to be ahead of the game.

“Almost 50,000 doses we’ve already pre-ordered,” explained State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers last week.

TrustCare Kids pediatrician Dr. Catherine Phillippi has placed her order.

“I’m completely confident that the vaccine is the way we have to get out,” said Dr. Phillippi.

And she’s already started fielding questions from parents and talking to kids about what’s to come. Some parents worry about side effects. But Phillipi says the benefits outweigh the risks.

“Definitely think that you can have achiness or fever or inflammation at the site,” Phillippi noted. “But I think that taking Aleve or Ibuprofen or Tylenol for a few days, it pales in comparison to the child that had full blown MIS-C and ended up in the ICU. I feel like in that situation, I would have looked back and wished I had used the tool that was in my toolbox and available to me, and you don’t get a do-over.”

Just less than half of surveyed Mississippi parents in May said they would “probably or definitely vaccinate their children against COVID-19.” Galvis is hoping more moms will talk to their pediatricians about it in the coming days.

“This could not come at a better time,” added Galvis. “So excited.”

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