LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Southern Nevada Health District representatives are answering questions about COVID-19 vaccinations for kids as the department begins administering does to those between 5 and 11 years old.
The Health District held a press conference on Wednesday where health officials said vaccinating kids helps keep a healthy community and keeps students with in-person learning in the classroom.
Watch the full presser below.
Health officials also said the vaccine helps lower disease transmission and ultimately saves lives.
“It feels like a relief for us," Kathuy Alonso said after getting her two kids vaccinated Wednesday.
She had been waiting until both her 13-year-old and 10-year-old could get their shots together. A big reason why is because they play competitive sports.
Alonso said she wanted “to know that they’re being safe and keeping everyone around them safe."
They were part of the first group of families to get vaccinated at the SNHD clinic with a vaccine for kids from 5 to 11 now available in "mini doses" of one-third what's given to adults. The clinic has about 5,500 doses for kids currently and plans to receive more.
“Vaccinating children is an opportunity to ensure they can stay healthy and continue in-classroom learning and return to their pre-pandemic lives, which is all we want,” said Scott Black, chair of the SNHD board of health.
Health officials say kids on the cusp of being 12 years old or who've just turned 12 should get the dose amount recommended by the CDC.
“Even if the child received the mini dose and the child is already 12 years old, the child is protected, and it’s not recommended for the parent to try and get the full dose,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, SNHD district health officer.
Health officials also say it’s a good idea to get your kids vaccinated as soon as possible to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“If your child receives the first vaccine today or tomorrow, then your child has about two weeks to build some level of immunity that will protect this child from infection with COVID-19,” Leguen said.
Meanwhile, a group of vocal protesters against the vaccines for kids chanted from nearby. Some made sheep noises and chanted, “shut it down” in relation to the vaccine clinic.
“What is the logic behind it? Vaccinating children with the vaccine has no long-term case studies,” saidmLorena Cardenas, who lives in Las Vegas.
Health officials say the vaccines have been tested and are determined to be safe and effective, with no children dying or suffering from serious side effects.
“Like all vaccines, they undergo rigorous clinical trials, which means they provide the vaccine to a large number of children in this appropriate age group,” said Dr. Cort Lohff, SNHD's chief medical officer.
Alonso says she saw the protesters but did her own research and spoke with a pediatrician. She feels confident in her decision to get her kids vaccinated.
“They’re free to express themselves and I’m free to make the decision that I thought was the best for my kids,” she said.
Right now, you can walk in to get a shot for your child at the clinic at SNHD headquarters. The agency says it’ll eventually have an appointment system set up.
Reporter Jeremy Chen was at the press conference. Follow him on Twitter at @JeremyChenKTNV.
Off to the side are a group of vocal protesters against the vaccines for kids. One of them has a Joey Gilbert for governor sign. Some have been making sheep noises and chanting “Shut it down” in relation to the vaccine clinic. @KTNV pic.twitter.com/MTKynVPYwm— Jeremy Chen (@JeremyChenKTNV) November 10, 2021