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Vaccine distribution for kids in Southwest Florida

Pediatricians and Health Networks ready to order COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 9:40 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 06:37:06-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla.  — The Covid-19 vaccine has been available for 18 months, no parents can now get their children vaccinated. Last week the CDC approved the Pfizer Biotech and Moderna mRNA vaccines for children six months to five years.

Now, pharmacies and health networks in southwest Florida are placing their orders to start distributions as soon as possible.

Dr. David Butler, a pediatrician at Physicians Primary Care of Southwest Florida says after some parents found out that the vaccine for kids 6 months to 5 years was available, "it wasn’t an hour or two later I had parents asking about it, so it was a very quick response."

Parents may be apprehensive, but Dr. Butler says he was having meaningful conversations with his patient's parents ahead of the approval.

"You have a lot of people that have been waiting for it for this age group, so as soon as it was approved, they were ready to go, ready to receive it."

As of Tuesday, Walgreens was only scheduling vaccinations for those over age three, Walmart provided the following statement.

"While we expect the majority of these vaccines to be distributed to pediatric providers, we plan to administer authorized vaccines for ages three to five as supply and distribution allow."

Dr. Butler says his office will be meeting very soon with providers to see which vaccine they’ll be going with.

Dr. Stephanie Stovall, Chief Clinical Officer of Quality and Safety with Lee Health told Fox 4, “Lee Health will have the COVID-19 vaccine available for parents who choose to vaccinate their six -month to five-year-old children. We will let you know as soon as we’re ready to begin administration.”

While Dr. Butler understands that some parents may still be on the fence about the new vaccine, "If I was worried about direct harm to your child, it’s something we wouldn’t even discuss because I would never want to do anything that hurts a child."

Dr. Butler says meaningful conversations with your pediatrician are important and most of the time clear up any confusion parents have about vaccines.

CVS and Target pharmacies will also be providing vaccines to your young one at any of their 1,100 MinuteClinic locations.