Just over 12,000 kids under the age of 5 years old in Ohio have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, that's only 1.75% of the total population for that age group.
Dr. Bruce Barnett, a pediatrician and Vice President for Medical Affairs for ProMedica Ebeid Children's Hospital, said he has parents coming in each week wanting to get their children vaccinated. But he also has some families still on the fence about it.
He said a lot of parents are asking "why now?" It's been almost two years since the vaccine became available for the majority of the population, so why has vaccine availability for children under 5 years old taken longer than other age groups?
Barnett said this is standard with all child immunizations.
But what shouldn't be normal is the number of children who have died from COVID-19, he said.
He explained that the minor side effects that potentially come with the shot should not deter parents from getting their children vaccinated.
"We don't think of lots of pediatric deaths from COVID, but there have been almost 300 in the country," Barnett said. "It's kind of like winning the lottery: it doesn't mean anything except if it's your child or grandchild."
For those still on the fence about getting your child vaccinated, consult a pediatrician about it as they know what's best for children, Barnett said.
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has appointments available for children as young as six months.
Find more locations nearby at vaccines.gov.