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Low demand for COVID-19 vaccines sound alarms for local pediatricians

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 22:12:47-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The low demand for COVID-19 vaccines for young children is alarming local pediatricians.

The start of school is now just two weeks away, and parents are showing up at their doctor’s office with lots of questions. As COVID continues to spread in the valley, whether students should be vaccinated, especially young children, is top of mind.

Krista Conkivich took her two children to get a checkup. During this visit to her pediatrician, she made the decision to get them a COVID vaccination.

"This is just something new and there are so many rumors and there is so much misinformation, so it is nerve-wracking," Conkivich said.

Her children are five and six years old and she had concerns about getting them vaccinated, but with school about to start, COVID is a big concern for her family.

"Having them protected when we know there is probably half the school of kids who aren't or more," Conkivich said.

Dr. Atousa Ghaneian, Las Vegas Pediatrician at Sunrise Children’s Hospital says the demand for vaccinations for children under five is low, but she says BA.5 is no joke, and because students no longer must wear masks or social distance in the classroom, she strongly encourages children to be vaccinated.

"It is the most contagious variant of all viruses ever in mankind," Dr. Ghaneian said.

Dr. Ghaneian says she is one of only a few private pediatricians in the state offering vaccines to children under five and hopes more doctors will join her.

“The vaccines are safe, their effective, we know this, we have seen the studies, we have seen the research," Dr. Ghaneian said.

Ana Moreno is a mother and she says at first she said no to the vaccine, but after learning more about it, she's decided to get her 3-year-old vaccinated.

"I know how he gets when he gets sick and it is very worrying some, every time he gets sick, I end up in the hospital with him," Moreno said.