Only a quarter of eligible NC kids receive COVID vaccine, data shows

Children, as young as 6 months, are now authorized to get a COVID-19 vaccine. There are some indications the demand to vaccinate North Carolina kids might not be strong.

The latest information from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows 38 percent of children 5-17 have received at last one dose and then roughly quarter of eligible kids 5-11 got a vaccine.

4-year-old Camden will be heading the pediatrician this week or next and getting his first shot. It's a welcome opportunity for his parents.

"I'm looking forward to him being able to go out, be around kids. We've been waiting for this vaccine so I'm so grateful. Everyone in my household has had three shots," said Raleigh mom Chimi Boyd-Keyes.

Wake County will start scheduling kids vaccines Wednesday evening, and children could start receiving the shots Thursday.

Three-year-old Miles is going to roll up his sleeve Friday. His mom says the boy has underlining health issues and she's been limiting his exposure to people.

"Our family is up in New England and it's hard because we can't see them and can't go on a plane and that kind of thing," said Raleigh parent Kristen Ennis.

Other parents not booking an appointment just yet.

"If it's required, I would say we don't have no choice. But for me, I have to do more research to make sure it won't affect my children," said Wakefield parent Jasmene Brown.

Health professionals says side-effects, particularly fever were of concern so adjustments were made.

The vaccine that kids are getting has a smaller dosage.

"For the Moderna, it's 25 micrograms in each shot and that's half the amount that's in the adult shots," said UNC Health Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. David Wohl.

These efforts are ramping up as Wake County testing is winding down.

Thousands of residents are still relying on these sites week after week.

A little more than 6,400 people went last week and that's exactly the number of appointments that's will be offered starting June 21st.

Beginning July 5th, the number will be reduced even further to 2,700, and testing will only be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

July 29th will be the final day to go to a Wake site.

Boyd-Keyes wishes the option would be offered a bit longer.

"I feel like people are acting as if the pandemic is over, and it's not," she said. "Our numbers tell us that, and people still need those services and they need them to be free."
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