LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Children in the valley are preparing to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated. Southern Nevada Health District will begin to give vaccines to children ages 5 to 11 on Wednesday, but a local pediatrician wants to provide another option.
Dr. Atousa Ghaneian, a pediatrician at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, says she is the first in the valley ready to give shots from her office. More than 50 children signed up for her first clinic.
Erika Vanessa Arias Morales is a mother of one of the kids that signed up on that list and she says getting her child vaccinated will take a large weight off her shoulders.
“It’s really scary, especially for me as a mom knowing there are a lot of people that don’t want to get the vaccine,” Morales said.
Morales got COVID-19 right before she went into labor last year. She says she faced some of the worst pains ever and she wants to make sure her children don’t experience that.
“If we want to end this, we have to do our part and lower the numbers, so we have to get our vaccines,” said Morales.
Morales says she knows children can carry this virus. Her father lives in their home and while he may be vaccinated, she has been worried her kids could give him something.
She says Latinos have been hit hard by this illness, especially in homes where a few generations live together, she believes the chances of someone bringing the virus home are high.
“We as Latinos have more than two kids at home so even though my son will be able to get his shot on Friday, but the little one will not and that is something I worry about,” Morales said.
Morales says Dr. Ghaneian was one of the few options available in the valley. Dr. Ghaneian has been planning for this moment for nearly two months in advance. Her staff has been trained to administer shots. They have learned the rules given by the CDC to make sure each dose is properly given. She says as we get closer to the holidays our kids need to be protected.
“They are going to want to hug their aunts, and their grandparents, and close friends of mom and dad that are there around the thanksgiving dinner table, they will be kissing and there will be a lot of contacts, so the risk is much higher,” explained Dr. Ghaneian.
She says children's response to the vaccine will be very similar to that of adults.
“Might expect a side effect with the first shot, they may get the fever, they may get some chills,” said Dr. Ghaneian.