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Tennessee children under five years old can soon be vaccinated against COVID-19

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 16:32:06-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two-year-old twins Henry and Hazel are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I myself am vaccinated, my husband is vaccinated, so they're kind of the next step to becoming a fully vaccinated family, which I think would be ideal," said their mother Holly Deutschlander.

"We can be a fully vaccinated family and then we don't have to worry about any one of us going out and bringing it back home. And then if we do then, you know, it shouldn't be too bad because we'll be vaccinated," she said.

Millions of other little ones in the U.S. will also be eligible after the FDA and CDC signed off on both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

"What we see is usually a little bit of soreness at the arm or the thigh, a little bit of fever, and usually an extra long nap the next day," said the director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, Dr. Buddy Creech. He co-led studies of the Moderna vaccine in children at Vanderbilt.

Creech said Vanderbilt's Moderna research did not show any concerning side effects like heart inflammation or seizures in children.

"Children are not little adults, so we had to find the right dose for them, and it turns out: children only need a little bit of the vaccine compared to adults," said Creech.

Vanderbilt's clinical trials studied hundreds of children as they progressed through Moderna's vaccinations.

"We don't see many things that would give us concern, whether that's heart inflammation or seizures or anything that should give us concern," said Creech. "It really matches what we should see with other pediatric vaccines."

He said now children in Tennessee could receive those vaccines in just a few days.

"There's so much floating around; there's so many germs, so many viruses, so many diseases," said Deutschlander. "If we have protection against at least some of them, like, why not?"

Interested parents and guardians can visit the CDC website to find out where to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot for your children.