COVID vaccines for kids under 5 now obtainable in Massachusetts

COVID vaccines for kids under 5 now obtainable in Massachusetts

NATICK – Claudia Dolan can’t wait to finally get the last person in her family vaccinated for COVID-19.

“Lucas just turned 3, and we’re hoping to get him immunized as soon as possible,” she said. She can get it done now that the CDC and Massachusetts health officials have given the go-ahead for vaccines for children younger than 5, all the way down to 6 months. “All summer long, would be a great blessing to not have to worry so much about who we contacted and who’s not feeling well,” said Dolan.

“We’re really excited to finally be able to do this,” said pediatrician Dr. Robyn Riseberg, who heads up Boston Community Pediatrics. “We hear a lot that, ‘Well my child was vaccinated and nevertheless had COVID. Is it worth it?’ We know that the long-term effects potentially of COVID are there, and we know that the vaccine is effective,” she said.

But some parents are nevertheless hesitant. “I’m probably not quite ready however to vaccinate my baby,” said Ally Leard, of Wayland, whose son just turned 2.

Others are already making appointments, “We haven’t been able to see a lot of friends and family over the last two-and-a-half years,” said Sasha Shyduroff, who lives in Natick. 

“It’s just going to be really important to us in terms of moving on with our lives,” additional another Natick mom, Sarah Satgunam.

Experts say getting the youngest members of the population vaccinated will be a meaningful step toward slowing the spread of COVID between children, adults and elderly people. 

“We know that a quarter of infections in the last year or so have occurred in people under 18, so to in any case extent we can help that, it’s going to help keep the numbers down overall,” said Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Appointments for the newly eligible population will be obtainable at 400 locations on the state’s Vaxfinder website starting Tuesday.

Christina Hager

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