MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department is now vaccinating children ages 5 through 11.
WREG’s Quametra Wilborn spoke with parents and kids who were some of the first to get their children vaccinated.
“Are you excited to get vaccinated? Yes, ma’am. Why is that? So, I don’t get sick,” 9-year-old Jeremiah told us.
Michael Norman said the decision to get his son vaccinated at the Shelby County Health Department Thursday morning was an easy one.
“We don’t want him to get sick and then with COVID I don’t know what it will do to the young children,” Michael Norman told us. “It could be serious.”
This comes after the Pfizer vaccine received approval from the CDC to be used on children ages five to eleven.
Health officials said the shots for kids contain a third of the dose given to teens and adults.
“It is safe and effective,” Dr. Michelle Taylor said. “The safety trials that were done were very rigorous. Some of the most rigorous that was ever done on a vaccine.”
Shelby County Health Director Doctor Michelle Taylor’s daughter Ella was among the first kids to be vaccinated and she’s encouraging other parents to vaccinate their children.
“Some of the safety trials were done right here in Memphis at St. Jude,” Dr. Taylor said. “You know all the good work that St. Jude does, and you know that they wouldn’t support something and put something out there that would harm children.”
However, the decision to get their kids vaccinated wasn’t easy for every parent.
One mother we spoke with, who didn’t want to be identified for the safety of her children, said she received intense backlash from her own family.
The mother waiting in line told us, “They politicized the virus. I don’t understand it.”
She said her son has asthma and was even hospitalized when he was younger after getting sick from the common cold. She said she’s not taking any chances with COVID-19.
“It’s just nervous as a mother trying to keep your kids safe from something that you is, you can’t see it. You don’t know it’s there. You’re just doing your best,” a concerned parent told us.
Doctor Taylor said all the children who got vaccinated today will be eligible for their second dose by the end of November, meaning they’ll be fully vaccinated by Christmas.