Local pediatricians hope to ease parents’ concerns about COVID vaccines for kids

SPOKANE, Wash. — Nearly 700,000 children in Washington will soon be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Providers at Mt. Spokane Pediatrics have already ordered 300 doses and cannot wait to start giving them out to kids. 

“I feel really hopeful about having the vaccine be available to more people, specifically kids,” said Family Nurse Practitioner Danica Parkin. 

Until that happens, doctors want to clear up concerns parents may have about vaccinating their young children. 

“It’s really just a holding pattern, waiting and then sometime hopefully in the next two weeks, we’ll actually be getting shots in arms,” Parkin said. 

Parkin said she still gets parents asking her if steps were skipped to get the vaccine out fast. 

“A lot of parents feel like shortcuts were taken, but when I talk with them, I say it’s just that we did things simultaneously instead of first this, then this, then this,” Parkin explained. “Instead, we ran parts of trials together at the same time.” 

The time could not come fast enough to get this younger age group vaccinated, so they can safely stay in school. 

READ: No COVID vaccine mandate expected for Washington students, but kids will likely wear masks all school year

“These vaccines will make our schools safer, keep the kids in our community healthy and make it easier for kids to stay in school and not worry about quarantine,” said Dr. John Hawes, Pediatrician with Swedish. 

If you are worried about side effects, Parkin says kids’ immune systems are pretty mighty. 

“They, in general, have handled it better than the adults,” Parkin said. “So yes, they have a sore arm, maybe they feel tired, maybe some swollen lymph nodes, but in general, we’re not seeing as much of the fever and flu-like symptoms for kids.” 

The Food and Drug Administration has already backed Pfizer’s low-dose vaccine for children. Pfizer says it is more than 90 percent effective in preventing infection for young kids. 

The next hurdle to approval will be with the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC is set to meet Tuesday. If approved, shots could ship out as soon as next week. 

READ: COVID vaccine for younger kids already being packed, shipped