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Baystate doctor hopes for decrease in hospitalized kids with COVID vaccine approval

The youngest age group, six months through five years old, can now get a COVID-19 shot and we’re getting answers on if this will help lessen the burden in the h
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The youngest age group, six months through five years old, can now get a COVID-19 shot and we’re getting answers on if this will help lessen the burden in the hospital.

“I don’t really care for it for kids really,” said Travis Jenkins of Springfield.

That’s Jenkins’ opinion when it comes to kids getting the vaccine. He told us two of his five children are vaccinated, but for him, he is unsure about it.

“It may be something. It may be a help, it may not be. Me myself, I just don’t know what’s in it. I feel like these vaccines kind of came a little fast,” Jenkins noted.

Western Mass News is getting answers from Dr. Charlotte Boney, pediatrician in chief at Baystate Children’s Hospital. She told us she has her own concerns and it has nothing to do with the actual vaccine.

“As pediatrician in chief here, I am a little worried about the lack of enthusiasm about vaccinating our youngest kids,” Boney said.

She explained why she believes parents should vaccinate their youngsters.

“442 children under the age of five have died from COVID-19 and over 800 children in this country have died from COVID-19 between the ages of five and 18, so it is not trivial. For example, we never see numbers like that when it comes to influenza,” Boney added.

What has COVID-19′s impact on this young age group been like at Baystate Children’s Hospital? Boney explained, “…But really, in the last couple of months, with this omicron variant surging, we saw many more children under four…We are still having one or two kids in the hospital every week with COVID-19.”

Shipments for the COVID-19 vaccine for the youngest age group will get sent out this week. Also, the Baker-Polito Administration expects there to be over 400 locations for that age group to get vaccinated in Massachusetts.