Health Officials Urge Parents To Vaccinate Children Against COVID-19

Monday, December 20th 2021, 7:09 am

The Oklahoma State Health Department says it’s important to get your child immunized as COVID-19 variants continue to spread across the country. Both the state and county health department leaders say the Omicron variant seems to be impacting younger children more than the previous variants.

Health officials say now is the time to get your child vaccinated with the recently approved child COVID vaccines to keep them protected over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

They say in the US, more than 15% of children ages 5 to 11 have received at least one dose since the approval a month ago. Here in Oklahoma, they say more than 8% of children have received one dose.

These numbers are only the figures from the health departments, they do not include those who have been vaccinated by tribal health departments, private locations like Walgreens, or doctor’s offices.

James Thompson with OKDH said they want people to continue to upward vaccine trend and consider this layer of protection for their child.

“I don’t know that we expected more so far, but we are hopeful for more,” Thompson said. “At the same time, the parents have to make that decision for their children and those children need to make the decision appropriate for them.”

Thompson and Ellen Niemitalo with the Tulsa Health Department told News On 6 that the COVID-19 booster shot rollout has been successful as well. THD said just in Tulsa County there have been more than 75,000 booster shots administered. A total of 804,843 COVID-19 vaccine shots have been given in Tulsa County since they were made available earlier this year.

“It’s been a pretty steady demand for the boosters,” Niemitalo said. “There are still a lot of people waiting on the boosters simply because they were thinking the boosters were for people who have underlying conditions or were over 65.”

She said she wants to make it clear that anyone 18-years-old and up can receive a booster shot at this time.

If you’re an adult wanting a booster shot or you want your child to get the vaccine you can sign up for those online or just walk into a county health department as well if you can’t find an online option.

“Each county is putting on a limited number of portal-based appointments most of them are being done walk-in or call-in type basis,” Thompson said.

Click Here to make an online appointment with your local health department.