In some pediatric practices, injections have been introduced. Children’s Medical Corporation, a private facility in Atlanta, ordered the dose as soon as it was authorized and received the first shipment on Monday, a holiday, June 13. They start vaccination at lunchtime. “We have a huge need,” says Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician in practice and editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “We even get calls from patients in other medical facilities whose doctors don’t carry any Covid vaccines for this age group.”
As that shows — and as a parent Report on Twitter—Available varies. This may be due to presumptions of low absorptive capacity; Practices and hospitals may not want to invest refrigerator space and staff time if they don’t expect much return. But it could also be due to the bureaucratic hurdles that have hindered Covid vaccination since its earliest days. Unlike most vaccines, this vaccine does not come from a commercial distributor; It is distributed by the federal government and through state health departments. So, to receive it, healthcare providers must complete CDC paperwork. That was true even if they had participated in other government programs, including Vaccines for Children (known as VFC), which guaranteed shots to families without private health insurance. .
“The involvement of the providers that are typically involved in the VFC program is pretty good,” said Marcus Plescia, physician and medical director for the Association of State and Territory Health Officials. “Getting it into private practice sites is a slower process. They are not used to participating in government-run vaccine programs. Some of them don’t want to do it because of the paperwork and hassle. ”
Children’s immunization programs can also be plagued by another age-old problem: the size of vaccine vials. Each dose contains 10 doses which, once thawed and opened, must be used within 12 hours. “In particular, pediatricians don’t like wasting vaccines. They treat it like a precious commodity,” Hannan said. “Ask them to order enough vials to have the vaccine on hand each day, when they are likely to vaccinate one person, and discard nine because you don’t have nine other children — that’s a challenge. awake.”
Another complication is that all Covid protections to date, including vaccinations, have been unfairly distributed. Half of those 19 million children under the age of 5 are children of color, according to one Kaiser analysis; 41 percent rely on Medicaid for coverage and 4.5 percent are uninsured. With public places, pharmacies and schools all unavailable to assist the youngest children, there will be additional pressure on federal and community-qualified health centers to reach children. near them. “We know from every part of the rollout that some of the most disadvantaged groups are not being vaccinated at similar rates,” said Jen Kates, global HIV and health policy director at Kaiser. “These are children who are vulnerable for a variety of reasons, and the last thing anyone wants is for them to suffer disproportionately or have less access to this intervention. .”
At this point, experts are hoping absorption slows, rather than are not absorption. Parents with upcoming children’s well-child visits or summer appointments to prepare their children for sporting activities, may choose to wait a few months instead of making a special trip. . That has pros and cons: It leaves children vulnerable to Covid for longer, but it normalizes vaccines to just one of a series of shots they receive in their early years.
For some parents, the problem won’t be scheduling, but trust. They will need extra patience from those in the health system as they work through the concerns, perhaps as they worked for themselves last year. “At their next pediatrician appointment, they can ask to talk — other,” says Angela K. Shen, a research scientist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who studies vaccination attitudes. with a phone call to the office” to arrange vaccinations. “It can take many conversations, with their brother, their sister, their pharmacist, as well as their pediatrician. These people in the middle are the people that public health messaging strategies will want to pursue, to answer their questions in a non-paternity way. “