Health Experts Concerned About Low Vaccination Rates Among Oklahoma Kids


Tuesday, January 4th 2022, 5:51 pm



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Health leaders say not a lot of kids are getting vaccinated across the country, especially in Oklahoma.

The state health department says less than 7 percent of kids between the ages of 5 and 11 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

That number is lower than the national average of about 15 percent, according to the Mayo Clinic.

A national CBS poll from last year showed the majority of parents nationwide are hesitant to give the vaccine to their younger kids.

Vaccine uptake for teens in Oklahoma is also lower than the national average, with the state health department reporting about 33 percent of kids 12 to 17 being fully vaccinated.

It comes as, on Monday, the FDA recommended Pfizer boosters for kids as young as 12.

Doctors say in most cases, COVID-19 symptoms in children are very mild, but the Tulsa Health Department says there has been an increase in pediatric hospitalizations as cases of the Omicron variant surge both in Oklahoma and nationwide.

THD immunization manager Ellen Niemitalo says they have doses on hand for both kids and adults.

"The vaccines again in that age range really are, they are safe, they are effective, they are well tested and they prevent those serious illnesses,” she said. “Thankfully it's rare for children that age to get hospitalized but we have been seeing pediatric hospitalizations in Oklahoma."

Saint Francis reported Tuesday that they have 9 kids in their hospital with COVID-19.

That's slightly down from previous days.

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