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Pediatrician: 'Let's keep an open mind' about COVID shots for youngest kids

Mufid Majnun
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Tallahassee pediatrician Dr. Nectar Aintablian says data show that the vaccines are safe. While she recommends most of her patients get the shot, she understands some parents might hesitate.

CDC data shows the risk of COVID spread in Tallahassee is high meanwhile, new variants are expected this fall. The news has left some parents confused about what to do and where to find vaccines — especially for kids under 5-years-old. A local pediatrician shares her thoughts

Dr. Nectar Aintablian is a board-certified pediatrician in Tallahassee. She says there are plenty of data to show that COVID vaccines are safe and that they’ll protect most kids from getting seriously sick from COVID-19. While she says she recommends most of her patients get vaccinated, she understands some parents might hesitate.

“We’re very lucky to have had all the vaccines and all the preventions we’ve had to the extent that if some parents are hesitant and don’t want to give their 6-month-old the vaccine at this point, I’m very understanding and I’m OK with it," Aintablian says. "I’ll still discuss it and tell them we have it. I don’t know what the fall is going to bring and how things are going to evolve so let’s keep an open mind.”

Aintablian says vaccines for kids, including those as young as 6 months, are available at most local pediatricians offices and also in local clinics.

“The pediatricians in general have easy access because it’s from the federal government and it doesn’t cost anybody anything. In our practice, we have enough of it," she says.

Aintablian thinks about vaccinating kids for COVID in the same way she thinks about vaccinating them for the flu. she says vaccinating kids protects them from the virus, and it also helps to protect their families and the community.

“A lot of the younger kids, especially the ones who are going to daycare, or the ones who have older siblings who go to daycare or preschool, tend to acquire the viral illnesses like COVID and flu from the daycare settings. They’re the ones who bring it home, spread it to other siblings, parents, family members and the rest of the community," Aintablian says.

Aintablian says she thinks getting vaccinated is a good choice for most children. She encourages parents to talk to their child’s primary care doctor if they have questions