Local pediatrician urges parents to wait on making COVID-19 vaccine appointment for kids 5-11

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– As many parents eagerly await approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds, Governor Hochul is urging parents to act now.

“Make your appointments now. You don’t know, you don’t want to hear that the first appointment available is in February when you want your child to have that shot as soon as possible,” Governor Hochul said.

But Pediatric Dr. Robert Dracker said not so fast. 

“I would not encourage parents to contact their doctors because we don’t have enough information really to tell them how we’re going to be doing this yet,” he said. 

That’s not the only reason. Dr. Dracker said they are really busy right now and it’s not just kids sick with COVID-19. They are seeing a large number of patients come in with RSV and strep throat. 

“We’re already getting inundated with calls for sick children and from the schools right now so trying to make an appointment for something that we don’t even have yet is premature,” Dr. Dracker said.

He does agree with Governor Hochul that the best place to give the shots is at school.

“We are working with the schools and through the Upstate Medical Center to see if we can arrange for school based clinics for vaccination which makes the most sense to be honest with you,” he said.

He said he doesn’t believe all pediatricians will be offering the vaccine in their offices, adding that he won’t be offering it at his office because they don’t have the infrastructure to store the Pfizer doses at the right temperature. 

As for what parents can do now, Dr. Dracker said get your kids the flu vaccine and be patient. 

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