COVID vaccine: Families in Leeds and Grenville ready for vaccine for children under 5

Thursday will be the first day parents can book their young children aged six months to under five for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Christine Lavictoire, an Ottawa resident, visiting downtown Brockville for the day, says she plans to get her three-year-old son vaccinated.

“I would like to get him vaccinated as soon as possible to protect him, our family, and he is going to daycare right now to also protect the people he goes to school with,” she said.

Her five-year-old daughter received her vaccine when she was eligible.

“We have all these vaccines that we already have to get to keep the kids safe, so I just see the COVID vaccine as another vaccine that’s just normal in our lives,” Lavictoire said.

“It’s a big day, we’ve been waiting for it,” smiled Dr. Paula Stewart on a Zoom call with CTV News Ottawa.

The Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit says the vaccine dose is lower than other age groups are receiving.

“For adults it’s 100, for 5-11 year olds it’s 50 micrograms, and for the little ones it’s 25 micrograms, so a real reduction depending on their size,” he said. she noted, adding that it’s completely safe.

“So far there’s no safety signal, that’s an NACI word for anything that we would be concerned about, which you would expect, because we only see these local side effects for most ages,” Dr. Stewart said.

This includes a sore arm, fatigue, or a low fever. Children will receive two doses, eight weeks apart.

She also noted that if a child has recently tested positive for COVID-19, parents should wait eight weeks until they reserve their vaccine to allow the immune system to recover.

“I’m really excited about this for the little ones,” Dr. Stewart said. “Omicron really loves the bronchi, Delta loved the lung itself, caused pneumonia, caused death.

“Omicron loves the bronchi and for the little ones they are really small and when they get inflamed they really have a hard time breathing and some end up in hospital including intensive care,” she added .

“Little kids are used to getting vaccines. Their immune systems are just primed, ready to go.”

She noted that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the region, with the past two weeks showing twice as many new infections as the previous two weeks as sewage samples continue to rise.

Dr Stewart says the increase in cases is linked to the mutation of the Omicron variation and people coming out and having closer interactions.

For Cornwall resident James Myers, also visiting Brockville for the day, he says his six-month-old son, Rory, will also receive the vaccine.

“He just had his last about a week ago for his six months, then he’s starting again in six months,” Myers said.

His pediatrician already includes the COVID-19 vaccine in his normal immunization schedule.

“It’s all planned for them as long as you’re ready to have them, so it’s all set up and you just show up,” he added. “I don’t think (COVID) is ever over, and there are still a lot of other diseases, viruses and such, so the safer the better.”

In Leeds, Grenville and Lanarkappointments can only be made by phone through the Vaccine Call Center at 1-844-369-1234.

“Think about making it a really good experience,” Dr. Stewart added. “The vaccine isn’t one of the most painful, it’s like a little pinch, so I think that’s what parents can do to prepare the kids and then have a really good experience.”

“If you’re on the fence, think about it,” Lavictoire said. “I would say put your child first, I know I absolutely don’t want my kids to get sick, and especially when you see how sick kids can get, I don’t want to put them at risk.”

Other parents who spoke to CTV News Ottawa declined to comment or said they had no plans to have their children vaccinated.

Health officials said there were enough supplies on Thursday to meet demand.

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Edward L. Robinett