Northampton DPH adds more COVID-19 appointment times for youngest eligible group

Northampton DPH adds more COVID-19 appointment times for youngest eligible group
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 12:16 AM EDT
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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -More COVID-19 vaccine appointments are becoming available to the youngest eligible group.

Due to the high demand for the vaccine for the age group six months to five years old, the Northampton Department of Public Health is opening up more time slots so they can get those children vaccinated.

“We want to get those young children vaccinated,” said Dr. John Kelley of Redwood Pediatrics.

In June, the FDA approved to give the COVID-19 vaccine to children in the age group six months to five years old.

Since then, families have been bringing their young ones to roll up their sleeves, or pants, to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Now, due to the high demand, the Northampton Department of Public Health is hosting a vaccine clinic every Monday, giving more people the chance to get the little ones in their lives vaccinated.

Families can sign their young kids up to receive the vaccine at the town of Northampton’s website. Starting Monday, families can schedule appointments for their young kids to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Elk’s Lodge on Spring Street in Florence.

For ages six months to four years old, they will be giving out the Pfizer vaccine, and for 5-year-olds, they will be using Moderna.

When Western Mass News checked appointment availability Sunday evening, there were still unclaimed timeslots.

“I think that clinic in Northampton is a wonderful idea,” explained Dr, Kelley.

Western Mass News reached out to find out the importance of getting the young age group vaccinated. He said vaccinating this young group of children can prevent them from getting seriously ill.

“This is important for their child this prevents a rare complication of COVID it’s rare much more rarer in children than it is in adults as far as hospitalization and serious illness...That’s why we vaccinate it’s to prevent rare things,” he said.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, about six percent of those in the 0-4 age group have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Kelley hopes the uptick in vaccine opportunities, will help boost these numbers.

“We have to make the norm right now it’s a new thing and this disease is not gonna go away this is something I will be dealing with for the rest of my career and eventually, this vaccine will become part of the routine vaccine schedule,” said Dr. Kelley.

In the meantime, Dr. Kkelley said he will continue to encourage families to vaccinate their young kids at every appointment.

“There has been 400 pediatric deaths since the pandemic started under age five and that’s 400 too many,” Dr. Kelley said.

If you are interested in signing up for a vaccine appointment for you little one, click here.