Some parents in Charlottesville eager to get children vaccinated

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 1:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -The COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 can’t come soon enough, according to some Charlottesville parents.

“When my son gets the shot, I’m going to excuse myself and have an ugly cry,” mother Gabrielle Nigmond said.

For Gabrielle’s 10-year-old son, Valentino, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a priority.

“My son has reactive airway disease, which is kind of like the precursor to asthma,” Gabrielle said. “For those of us who have children that are immunocompromised, or sometimes become immunocompromised due to having to steroids and antibiotics to treat these things, it’s been a very scary almost-two years for us.”

The vaccine for this age group could come very soon, according to Doctor Bill Petri with UVA Health.

“This will probably play out, I would imagine, if everything goes smoothly before Thanksgiving,” Dr. Petri said.

Petri is encouraging parents to get their young children vaccinated once it’s approved. Pfizer has made a formal request to the FDA to grant emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11.

“Although the disease is much less severe, there’s still been 4,200 children in the U.S. who have been hospitalized, and sadly 500 children who have died in the U.S. from COVID-19,” Petri said. “You never want to see that with a vaccine-preventable illness and so the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs the risk, even in children that have less severe COVID-19.”

April Wang of Charlottesville says she’ll get her 7 and 10 year old children vaccinated once Pfizer’s shot is approved.

“My daughter has a history of developing severe croup with upper respiratory infections, that has landed her in the emergency room three times,” Wang said. “I am especially worried about her potentially catching COVID and being symptomatic and developing complications or having a severe case,” April said.

Gabrielle is urging others to rollup their sleeves to protect those who are vulnerable.

“Even if your child isn’t like mine, and doesn’t have times when they become immunocompromised, I’m just asking that you vaccinate them to help protect people, like my son, and to do what’s best for our community as a whole,” she said.

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