COVID-19 vaccines for kids not yet ready at all North Carolina pediatrician offices

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022
NC providers await vaccine shipment for kids younger than 5
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NCDHHS said it has ordered 118,600 doses of the vaccine.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The wait is over for families now that nearly all children can get the COVID-19 vaccine, but as North Carolina rolls out its shipment, some families may need more patience as pediatrician offices wait for their vaccine shipments.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said as of Tuesday, it ordered 118,600 doses of the vaccine for distribution to providers across the state, including Cape Fear Valley Health, which expects its COVID-19 vaccine shipment to arrive Tuesday.

"Any little protection is better than none at all," Becky Sprinkle said.

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Sprinkle's grandchild is a 1-month-old who may have to wait a couple of months until she's eligible, but when it happens, Sprinkle said she supports her grandchild getting the vaccine.

"We could go places and won't have to worry about exposure, because they'll be protected by the shots," Sprinkle said.

For other parents in Fayetteville, they're hesitant to jump in line.

"I just want a little bit more information on it," Brian Austin said as his 4-year-old son prepares for kindergarten.

"I'm not opposed to it, so when he starts school if he has to have it, that'd be OK," Austin said. "But I'm still kind of tentative."

Darrian Camacho, who's pregnant, said the unknown is scary for her.

"I would hate to get the shot for my kids and then it affect them later on in life because they just don't know," Camacho said.

The vaccine will be available and administered in pediatric and primary care offices, pharmacies, local health departments and federally qualified health centers, according to NCDHHS. But children younger than 3 years of age will not be able to get vaccinated at pharmacies in North Carolina.

Cape Fear Valley Health said the ExpressCare at Health Pavilion North will administer from age 2 years and older and refer anyone less than 2 to their pediatrician.

The extra layer of protection for Mary Hutchinson's 3-year-old and 6-month-old grandchildren would feel like another routine childhood vaccine.

"I feel like she'll be protected," Hutchinson said. "I don't have the same scariness that I think a lot of the young parents have, because we got them their polio vaccines and all the other vaccines."