LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — At Kiddie's Pal Pediatrics, board-certified pediatrician and member of Clark County Medical Society Dr. Tal Minuskin is no stranger to administering the COVID vaccine to kids.
And come later this week, he expects to finally put shots into the littlest of arms.
"This has been long-awaited," he said.
On Saturday, federal government officials gave the final go-ahead for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to help protect children six months, to five years of age from COVID.
Now, approximately 20 million children in that age group are finally able to get vaccinated against the virus.
The shots are similar to the older children and adult vaccines with a few notable exceptions.
Moderna is a two-dose series spaced 28 days apart, while Pfizer (unlike its shots with other age groups) is a three-dose series, with the final dose at least two months after the second.
Both vaccines are at lower doses than the vaccines given to older children and adults.
Dr. Minuskin says he's heard inquiries from parents and already has a waiting list for when the Pfizer vaccine comes into his office later this week.
"I have a long list of patients, and every day I keep getting asked about it," he said.
Still, a large percentage of parents remain unsure.
A recent poll shows that only 18 percent of parents of the 6-month to 5 age group said they would vaccinate their kids right away. The largest group, 38 percent, reported they were unsure, and wanted to wait and see.
Indeed, when News 3 attempted to talk to dozens of parents, many declined to talk on camera, citing that the topic was a sensitive one. But they did tell reporters that they remained skeptical and unsure, even after getting the vaccines themselves, worried over possible long-term side effects.
It's a sentiment with which board-certified family physician Dr. Daliah Wachs can sympathize.
"I get it, parents are frustrated. Many parents got COVID despite being vaccinated, and that translates to a lack of enthusiasm for the vaccine," she said. "And we doctors get it. But how you have to look at it is that if you didn't get hospitalized, that could mean the vaccine worked."
The Southern Nevada Health District also reports that as of June 10th, there have been over 13,000 COVID cases reported in those under age 5, along with four deaths.
"Now that we know that COVID can cause some serious complications in kids, it starts to make the need to have a vaccine all the more important," she said.
For locations on clinic locations, click here, or reach out directly to your child's pediatrician.
More resources and information:
Yale Medicine on the vaccines for children 6 months to 5 years.
Southern Nevada Health District on the vaccines being available for children 6 months to 5 years.
CDC on children and vaccination
FDA on authorizing the vaccines for children 6 months to 5 years.
"What to know about the Covid Vaccine for Little Kids", an interview with a doctor and the New York Times
"The FDA has authorized Covid-19 vaccines for children under 5. What should parents know?" CNN