CINCINNATI — The region’s largest public health system said Tuesday it will be prepared to open up COVID-19 vaccinations to the youngest group yet once the state approves.
Pfizer asked federal regulators to approve two doses of its vaccine for those as young as 6 months old while research on a third dose continues. That means the final segment of the population could begin first doses by the end of February.
Cincinnati mom Trisha Bales said she is ready for eligibility to expand to her 2-year-old, Ruby.
“I want her to have some protection," Bales said. "I also want, for my family members are more vulnerable, I want to feel more confident around them."
Hamilton County Public Health Medical Director and Mercy Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Stephen Feagins said his team is ready to begin as soon as they receive the correct dosage and approval from the state of Ohio.
“I know Pfizer, they tested a dose that didn't seem to provide the antibody levels that they hoped for," Feagins said. "I know the FDA has really pushed them to either come forth with a three-dose regime or a dose with good antibody levels."
Feagins predicts expansion to this age group will reduce hospitalizations at Cincinnati Children's. However, he said more people overall must become immunized to approach endemic status.
“We need more people vaccinated overall,” Feagins said. “So, every kiddo vaccinated is one more.”
For those with young children, returning to some type of normalcy has been slow as variants cause surges. Bales said she will talk to her pediatrician about next steps.
“My hope is that summer will be more relaxed, and we'll be able to plan more vacations, family get together and be more confident that we're not putting anybody at risk,” Bales said.
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