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AZDHS: Just under 5,000 children under 5 have received first dose of COVID vaccine

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-09 01:26:33-04

The rollout for COVID vaccines for children under five happened a couple weeks ago. New numbers are in and show a modest start.

On June 15, 2022, five days before the rollout of COVID vaccines for kids under five, the team at Pleasant Pediatrics was overwhelmed taking calls to pre-book appointments.

More than 200 people signed up their kids to get their first dose less than 24 hours of the rollout.

"It's definitely slowing down, with just a handful per day, I would think at this point,” said Physician Assistant Jeff Crosby.

Fast forward to the first full week of July, the White House counted about 300,000 kids nationwide that got their shot, which is 1.5% of the roughly 19 million U.S. children in that age range.

Crosby believes widespread availability has not swayed opinions.

"Most of the questions I was getting was when is the vaccine going to be available? Frankly, not a lot of parents were asking should we get the vaccine? I think a lot of people had mostly made their decision on it,” added Crosby.

Lexx Perez, a father of three, was at the clinic with his son for a check-up. His other kids, older than five, have their shots.

As for his younger son, Perez said, "I feel like, right now, they have not tested it enough. They haven't had enough trials with people."

Arizona's Department of Health Services has tracked, of the nearly 400,000 younger kids eligible in the state to receive a COVID shot, 4,916 have taken it.

Maricopa County Public Health estimates about 3,000 doses have been given to children under five in the county.

Crosby and others on his team at various Pleasant Pediatrics locations, have given 1,300 doses.

ABC15 found the health department hosting a clinic Friday to provide vaccines.

Organizers say the low numbers nationally, and here in Valley, when it comes to vaccinating kids under five are reasons enough for clinics at mobile sites to operate.

"So, we come to schools, churches, you know different community centers where they feel more comfortable and can be vaccinated,” said Jhoana Molina.

To locate a vaccine location, use AZDHS' interactive map.