Health district talks COVID-19 vaccines for children

The Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District is reporting 452 COVID cases in kids under the age of five so far in 2022.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - As of Thursday, COVID vaccines for kids under five are now available in Wichita County. Some parents are hesitant when it comes to giving their children the vaccine, however, health officials are urging families to act as cases rise.

This year, the Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District is reporting 452 COVID cases in kids under the age of five. That is 18 more than last year, even though COVID is suppose to be more under control.

“Cases are on the rise, hospitalizations are on the rise, so I think it is a perfect time for parents to consider getting their children vaccinated,” Kristin Hanei, Clinical Services Supervisor for the health district said.

With the COVID vaccine now available for children six months to 5-years-old, some parents are ready to make the appointment for their kids.

“I am excited,” Ashley Massey, mother of five, said. “I actually didn’t know. I’ve been waiting and actually googling when is it going to be available because I got my older kids their vaccinations. My 4-year-old is about to start pre-k and I am like I really want him to be protected to the maximum before I put him in schools with other kids and stuff.”

“They said they would like to get it and I would be supportive of that,” Terrence Marsh, father of two, said. “Anything to keep them safe and especially if they feel comfortable with it, then that is cool with me.”

Some parents will forgo the vaccine for this age group.

“I will not be getting my girls vaccinated with the COVID vaccine,” Megan Lancaster, mother of two, said. “I just don’t feel like they are at high risk for getting COVID or if they do get COVID, it is probably going to be a cold for them. So I just don’t feel like they need it.”

COVID cases for children under the age of five are currently on the rise, already surpassing last year’s numbers.

“Made up approximately 3.4% of total cases and that was for all of 2021,” Hanei said. “Currently in 2022 for 0 to 5-years-old, it is currently making up 4.1% and we are in June.”

Parents are concerned with how COVID would affect their children.

“Kids can’t really fight off things like how adults can fight off things,” Massey said. “Like my son has asthma and when he got COVID, it kind of made him get bronchitis and it was harder for him to fight off, whereas with me, my symptoms weren’t so drastic.”

Health officials urge parents to contact them or their pediatrician if they have any questions or concerns regarding the vaccine. Their goal is to keep children as safe and protected as possible.

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