KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the White House continues to outline its plans to vaccinate younger children, doctors in the Kansas City area say they're aware that parents are excited.
“I know the parents are eager and excited for this, we are too,” Dr. Angela Myers, infectious diseases division director with Children’s Mercy said.
The Biden Administration announced plans to ship 15 million vaccines across the country for immediate distribution, once emergency use is approved.
As of Wednesday morning, the White House reportedly has enough vaccines to inoculate 28 million kids in the five to 11 age group – ahead of the FDA meeting in less than a week to review clinical trial data.
After adults saw long lines, wait lists, some having to drive hours away to find vaccine availability at first, what system snafus can parents expect?
Pediatrician Dr. Natasha Burgert notes doctors can only go off procedures used when vaccinating youth 12 and older.
“For those kids we did clinics in our office to kind of consolidate the time that we had for the kids and organize how many vaccines were available to us,” Burgert said. “We were able to do that fairly easily within our clinics, we had patients call and make appointments. With the onslaught that will likely happen with this younger cohort we anticipate doing something similar.“
KSHB 41 News reached out to 16 of the Kansas City area's largest school districts to see if they’re planning to accommodate those who wish to be inoculated.
Of those 16, Kansas City, Kansas, and Shawnee Mission School Districts responded to say they’re in the process of figuring things out.
A spokesperson with the Hickman Mills School District said:
“We are working with the Kansas City Health Department to determine if we can set up some clinics in the district. If we are able to schedule some clinics we will send that information out to parents as well as the community.”
Within Olathe Public Schools, a spokesperson confirmed:
“Olathe Public Schools is aware of the proposal and is currently in the process of reviewing the rollout plan shared this morning. The district will continue to work closely with our local health department to determine what steps may be taken to support the health and well-being of our students.”
“When the adults got their vaccine it was working through the cold chain and it was working through the process. It was getting all the kinks out of the system and when they approved the twelves and above, those system kinks were already worked out,” Burgert said. “There will be a little bit of a hiccup at the beginning, I only anticipate, as we’re trying to as quickly as we can figure out how to distribute them safely to all of our kids who need them.“
With a different dose specifically for this age group, Burgert said the vaccine will require a different method of distribution.
As for notable side effects parents can expect – Dr. Burgert says most kids are back on the soccer field within a day.
”Quite honestly I think the kids are probably faring better than the adults, these kids want this vaccine, they know that this is a way they can have masks off at their friends’ houses, this is a way they can get their lives back," she said.
Children’s Mercy is actively preparing and planning several mass vaccine clinics for kids who do not have a primary care provider or cannot make it to on.