LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The CDC officially endorsed COVID-19 boosters for kids 12 and up this week, following the FDA's approval of the Pfizer vaccine in kids 12-15.
On Friday, Norton Healthcare began offering them for their patients. Dr. Kristina Bryant said the news was exciting for the health system.
“Five months seems to be the right interval at this point in time to get a boost," she said. "We also know in adults and older adolescents that booster dose provides extra protection against variants.”
Some parents, early adopters of the initial vaccine, said they were excited, too.
"Literally, three of my four children were there the very first day they could get the vaccine," Jennifer Reese said.
One of Reese's children contracted COVID twice and has suffered long-haul symptoms. She said she already has appointments lined up for all of her eligible children.
“Whatever we can do to protect my kids and others we’re going to do," she said.
Andrea Reaves got her eldest child boosted already because he leaves for college soon. She said as soon as she heard the news this week, she scheduled her middle child for a boost.
"I know it doesn't say you can't ever get COVID but at least I feel a little better thinking he won't end up on a ventilator," she said. "It's so nerve-wracking as a parent when you have kids and you're worried about what if they get sick, what if something happens?"
Dr. Bryant said parents can sign their kids five months after their child completes the first round of vaccination. She added that 50% of 12 to 17-year olds in Kentucky still haven't received their first dose.
"We still have a lot of kids that remain at risk and need to initiate the immunization," she said. "If you are still thinking about immunization for your child please take steps to get your questions answered."
Bryant said the boost provides crucial added protection against variants, and could soon become like any other vaccine children get regularly.
"It's just like feeding them or getting their checkups once a year, or if they break their arm, taking them to the doctor," Reaves said. "It's the same thing. Just take care of your kids."
Dr. Bryant recommends scheduling a vaccine appointment at a clinic, instead of going to an already-busy pediatrician's office.
Norton offers vaccine clinics in St. Matthews and West Broadway.