Children ages 5 to 11 have been eligible to get a COVID vaccine for a month, but state data show they are the least vaccinated among eligible groups.
DENVER — Despite being eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for a month, rates are lagging in children ages 5 to 11.
“People are super excited,” said Children’s Hospital Colorado pediatrician Dr. Brandi Freeman. Then there are those who are “kind of hesitant and having questions about the vaccine.”
Freeman said she’s had to take a different approach when it comes to discussing vaccines for some of the most vulnerable.
“My approach with my patients, with my family, with my friends, has first been trying to figure out what their concerns are,” Freeman said.
Recently, she said a 12-year-old patient who wasn’t up to date with routine vaccines wanted the COVID vaccine.
“He researched it on his own and brought it to his mom,” Freeman said. “They came here together to talk about it, talked about the COVID-19 vaccine and routine immunizations.”
Freeman spoke with him and his mother, who both left with their first COVID vaccine dose.
“Kids recognize the world is different for them right now,” Freeman said. “And they’re listening to the science, too, that the vaccine can help us and keep us safe so they can keep doing what they want to do, which is to be healthy kids.”
According to the state, nearly 22% percent of those ages 5 to 11 have received their first dose. Only 3% are fully vaccinated, compared with 73% in Coloradans over the age of 12. The youngest age group become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 2.
“So that’s been kind of surprising because parents of this age group are still used to having their child vaccinated frequently,” Freeman said. “But I understand they are worried they are little.”
Freeman’s hope is for more children to get vaccinated before they are threatened by new COVID variants.
“We have scary things being reported every day,” she said. “But we are able to do our part by vaccinating and doing all the things we’ve been doing along the way. I think that will lead us out of this.”
Colorado is operating a number of vaccination sites. The large-scale sites can give up to 1,000 doses per day. On Friday, the state announced the site at Ball Arena is re-opening this month.
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