COVID-19: Over 500 babies, toddlers vaccinated in Shelby County

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 5:53 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2022 at 7:27 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Nationwide 300,000 kids under five have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine since it was approved for that age group almost a month ago.

That’s 2% of that population according to the White House and it’s trending slower than other age groups.

As of this week in Shelby County, 511 kids six months to four years old have gotten at least one dose of the shot at the Shelby County Health Department.

Health Department Director Dr. Michelle Taylor says she’s encouraged by that number, which increased more than 100 in a week’s time.

“Really the 511 we are reporting are the children that have received it here at the health department.,” Taylor said. “That does not necessarily take into account the children who have received that vaccination at their pediatrician or family practice doctors.”

The COVID-19 vaccine was given emergency use authorization by the FDA for kids under four last month.

This comes as COVID-19 cases have started to climb across the country in the last week; Shelby County has reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases.

The number of patients at Memphis’ LeBonheuer Children’s Hospital has gone up from two to six in three days.

The uptake of the vaccine in toddlers is slower than that of the 5-11 age group. In Shelby County, 22% of that age group has gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Taylor says the majority of the COVID-19 cases in the community are now the very contagious omicron subvariant called BA.5, but this case surge is different.

“Between our population that has some level of vaccination immunity and the folks who have gotten COVID unfortunately and have some level of natural immunity, it means that most of the people who are getting COVID now are recovering at home because the have that extra protection,” Taylor said.

All approved age groups can get the shot at the Shelby County Health Department. To find a vaccination location nearest you click here.

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