Children seeing positive COVID tests as they enjoy summer, approval for youngest population to receive vaccine

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:10 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - People of all ages are still testing positive for the Coronavirus and its newest variants.

Across Pediatric Associates of Savannah locations, they are starting to see kids returning from large family gatherings, vacations and summer camps and testing positive for COVID.

However, Dr. Ben Spitalnick says it is not an overwhelming number, he just wants parents to be aware that COVID is still out there.

He says it is great to see the kids enjoying the most normal summer they have been able to experience in nearly three years, and while they should enjoy their time, if they start to feel sick at all go see their pediatrician or just take a COVID test.

The strands of COVID going around right now are aggressive in spreading but they are not in terms of severe illness.

“So what we are seeing in some cases, the common cold, or a mild case of flu or strep throat and without testing you would assume this is a mild respiratory virus but sure enough they test positive and that is how it is spreading so quickly is that the disease in some people is very mild so they are not even getting tested,” he said.

Remember, the federal government is still sending out free COVID-19 tests to families. You will get a total of eight tests with your order, all you have to do is type in your address and they ship for free.

Vaccines for youngest population

Kids under 5 are one step closer to having access to the COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA has recommended two vaccines for kids ages 6 months to 5-years-old.

We have to wait just a few more days before kids can get those shots.

Pediatricians offices and health departments have already placed their orders and the vaccines will be on the way as soon as Thursday, but before they can start giving them out, they still need approval from the CDC.

What is unique for this age group is that two different vaccines have been approved at the same time, so parents will have an option when getting their kids vaccinated.

Both Pfizer and Moderna are similar vaccines for the kids under 5, but the main difference is Pfizer is a three shot series and Moderna is a two shot series.

Dr. Ben Spitalnick from Pediatric Associates of Savannah says it is entirely up to the parents to decide which vaccine, but to just talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions.

“It is going to be a hard decision, I know a lot of pediatricians are leaning towards two doses instead of three, that is the bonus, I know some pediatricians are leaning towards the one they are more familiar with which is the Pfizer, it’s going to be split so we’ll see.”

He expects once the vaccine is available there will be parents who come in right away for their kids, but also they will be steady throughout the summer giving shots since kids in that age come to the doctor often for check-ups, so then can just give the vaccine during those appointments.

That process could start as soon as next week, again just waiting on the CDC approval which for other age groups has come in about two to three days after the FDA approval.

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