KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the CDC granting approval to COVID-19 vaccines to kids as young as six months, families across the Kansas City area are ready to provide protection for their young children.
The pandemic has been stressful for Marissa Thomas’ family.
“She’s almost two years old, we can’t just live our life at home,” Thomas said.
During the pandemic, Thomas made a career adjustment to juggle work and motherhood.
“I started my own business, so I had more flexibility to be able to take care of her during quarantines from daycare,” she said.
This year alone has been hard.
“Up through about April, she was home with me a quarter of the time,” she said.
There’s help on the way, with the approval of COVID-19 vaccines for the last young group of Americans.
After the CDC granted approval, Thomas went right to work finding an appointment.
“It’s been more stressful than I anticipated it would be,” she said
She recalled one surprising phone call in the process of her search.
“I of course called my pediatrician. My pediatrician’s office said they didn’t know it was approved yet,” Thomas said. “I don’t expect it’ll be tomorrow that I can find my daughter a vaccine, but it was a little frustrating to have a lot of people say we just don’t know when things will be ordered, not to mention come in.”
Pediatric availability will be crucial for families like Marissa’s.
Retail pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Hy-Vee only offer vaccines to kids three years and older.
Thomas says securing an appointment will be a big relief.
“For her, I want her to be able to be a kid, I want her to be able to go to all the things she wants to go to, whether they’re inside or outside, whether she has to mask or not,” Thomas said.
Thomas is a few months away from the arrival of her second child, and says that vaccination experience will be a little easier.
“It’s really nice knowing that I was boosted when I was pregnant, and by the time this child is six months old, they can be vaccinated if COVID is still an issue at that point,” she said.