Stark County parents can begin scheduling their youngest children’s COVID-19 vaccines this week, following a June 18 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that the last qualifying age group, those 6 months and older, be vaccinated against the virus.
The Stark County Health Department began scheduling Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children under 5 years old starting June 28. Appointments can be made through Armorvax.com.
Shots are also available through all Akron Children’s Hospital pediatrics offices and can be scheduled at akronchildrens.org/covidvaccine.
The Pfizer vaccination is a three-shot series for kids ages 6 months to 4 years old, with three weeks between the first and second dose and eight weeks between the second and third shots. The Pfizer vaccine was previously approved for kids ages 5 and up.
The Moderna vaccine for 6-month-olds to 5-year-olds is a two-dose series, with the second dose administered between four and eight weeks after the first.
'Our kids being vaccinated means freedom.'
Canton resident Kayle Blogna Crofford is a parent to a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. She began searching for vaccines for her kids as soon as the CDC recommendation was made and has an appointment in Rootstown in Portage County this week to get the kids vaccinated.
"[I felt] very excited and like there was the first tangible hope I’ve felt in a long time amidst this pandemic," Crofford said.
Crofford and her husband have taken health precautions very seriously since the pandemic began in March 2020. Their younger child was born in February 2020, and was just a month old when the first pandemic shutdowns went into place.
"Our kids — and us, mostly — have been pretty much entirely isolated for this whole pandemic," Crofford said. "That’s 2.5 years of no outside support for us or fun outings or get-togethers. And it was made exponentially more difficult by how many people have refused to have consideration for others and take precautions during this pandemic, which made us feel even less safe."
Crofford said she’s grateful for the scientific progress that made the vaccines possible and she hopes other people will choose to get themselves and families vaccinated as well to help protect everyone.
"Our kids being vaccinated means freedom. They have an extra layer of protection that will decrease the chances of the more extreme and potentially long-reaching consequences of COVID-19," Crofford said. "So now they can hug their grandparents, get haircuts, and my son can start preschool and make friends. There are no words for how relieved I am to finally be able to give this to my kids and for us to be able to reconnect with loved ones again."
In Stark County, 57.6% of the population has hadat least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Sam Zern can be reached at email@example.com or 330-580-8322. You can also find her on Twitter at @sam_zern.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Stark Health offers COVID-19 vaccines to kids under 5 years old