SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Doctors are spreading information and answering questions about the COVID-19 vaccine so people can feel confident whether or not they choose to get it.
In Greene County, 178 kids ages 12 to 18 currently have COVID-19. This makes up roughly 6 percent of Greene County’s total active COVID cases. When COVID first hit, doctors weren’t seeing these high numbers in kids. But the delta variant has proven more contagious, along with more symptoms for kids.
“Kids are getting sicker than parents are expecting and that’s scary,” Springfield Pediatrician Dr. Kayce Morton said. “State by state we’re seeing hospitals fill up to capacity with kids getting sick.”
Dr. Morton is one of the many doctors participating in #KidDocsFightCovid. The goal of the campaign is educate parents on the COVID vaccine so kids are protected against the virus.
“I feel confident in the vaccine,” Morton said. “I wouldn’t have gotten it myself or had my kids get the vaccine if I was not confident.”
Pfizer just received full FDA approval for its COVID vaccine. But some people are still hesitant about getting it, including other vaccines altogether.
“This past year in COVID we’ve had a decrease in patients getting their regular vaccines which are still super important for them to get on top of the COVID vaccine,” Morton said.
KOLR 10 hosted a Vaccine Hesitancy Town Hall Monday. Dr. Morton addressed questions several questions including those about the efficacy of the vaccine and possible reactions. On Friday, she said the possible risks of not getting the vaccine altogether are greater.
“There was a 7-year-old that came in with MIS-C which is a complication secondary to COVID,” Morton said. “His whole family came in sick. He didn’t really have any symptoms. 2 to 3weeks later, he was fevering very high, very lethargic, very pale, and as soon as I walked into the room I knew that kid was sick. His heart wasn’t working and he had to be transported to St. Louis . He almost had to be put on the heart transplant list just because it wasn’t working well.”
Morton says this family was not vaccinated. She wants to continue educating families so something like this doesn’t’ happen again.
“This is why pediatrician’s are doing this is to get the word out that we’re here to answer those questions,” Morton said. “We’re not here to make them feel bad about having those questions or you know just to make the decision an easier one for them.”