CHICAGO - It’s a major milestone for parents with young children. Tuesday marked the first day that kids between the ages of six months and five years old could get the COVID-19 vaccine at Lurie Children's Hospital and FOX 32 was there as some of the first shots were administered.
"It is such an exciting time for us. I think this marks another milestone in this whole COVID-19 era," said Jenny Elhadary, vice president of clinical services with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Children under five years old represent the last age group to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Announced on Saturday, advisors with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending the vaccine to young children in that age group.
"I’m just really excited to get her vaccinated finally," said Colleen Cappelli, parent.
On Tuesday, Cappelli’s 17-month-old daughter, Paisley, became one of the first patients under five years old to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
"Especially with her being in daycare, we’re worried about the long-term effects of COVID, and since she has not had it, we wanted to make sure we got her vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure that she doesn’t get it," said Cappelli.
Another mom, who brought her 15-month-old daughter, Aviva, to get vaccinated on says it gives her a major sense of relief.
"I’m more concerned about them catching COVID than about them getting vaccinated," said Meredith Brener, parent.
The hospital will only be offering the Moderna vaccine to children under five years old. It's a two-dose series given 28 days apart.
This week alone, the hospital has already booked hundreds of vaccine appointments for little ones under five.
"There has been a lot of interest, we are trying to add more staff in order to increase our number of appointment slots. We just released them early this morning and they are already all full," said Elhadary.
Aside from scheduling a shot with your child's pediatrician, Chicago’s Department of Public Health is hosting several family vaccination clinics this summer, and even has a program for some zip codes where they will come to your home to administer the vaccine.
Learn more about how to find a COVID-19 vaccine for children under five years old, HERE.