New COVID-19 guidance from the World Health Organization out indicates that it is less urgent to vaccinate children right now and that older people and those at higher risk of serious illness should be the priority.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- New COVID-19 guidance from the World Health Organization out indicates that it is less urgent to vaccinate children right now and that older people and those at higher risk of serious illness should be the priority.

The local doctor we spoke to Wednesday said the World Health Organization is looking at this on a global scale, but this new advice might be sending parents the wrong message.

“Well, I think the World Health Organization is really looking at the perspective of billions of people that need the vaccine and only millions available,” said Dr. John O’Reilly, chief of general pediatrics at Baystate Health.

O’Reilly told Western Mass News that many other countries are behind the united states when it comes to vaccinating those at highest risk for COVID-19.

“So if we think back to the U.S. early on when we had a smaller amount of vaccine, we gave it to the people who are in the nursing homes first because they were at the highest risk at that point,” O’Reilly noted.

COVID-19, coronavirus vaccine (generic)

That’s why the World Health Organization, in its latest guidance, is expressing less urgency for kids who do not have pre-existing conditions to get the vaccine, but we found local residents are confused by this advice.

“If there’s no rush to get the kids vaccinated, why are we being rushed to be vaccinated? That’s my point. There should be no reason for anyone to be rushed to be vaccinated unless there is a pre-existing health issue,” said Michelle Gordon of Springfield.

Others believe getting more kids vaccinated is critical.

“Well, I just think that we need to make sure that kids who aren’t able to get vaccinated are able to rejoin too and having their friends get vaccinated are one of the easiest ways to do that,” said Mallory McGrath.

We should point out that there is no vaccine approved for children under 12 right now, but the World Health Organization still stresses the urgency for young people to get vaccinated if they are at a higher risk for severe illness.

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