THOMASVILLE — Archbold Medical Center had a steady flow of people show up for its first pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Saturday.

A total of 107 vaccines were administered to children between the ages of 5 and 11.

“It’s been a lot more than I expected it to be,” Dr. Amy Cooper, local pediatrician, said.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine for the age group in October while vaccine administration for ages 12 and up has been happening since May. 

As COVID-19 case totals continue to rise, officials encourage children eligible for the pediatric vaccine to receive it as a prevention method that can help stop the spread of the virus. 

“There’s been way over 1,000 children admitted to hospitals in the state of Georgia since COVID began, so that’s a big strain on our hospital system,” Dr. Sam Hughes, another local pediatrician, said. “We want to keep everyone as safe as possible.” 

Archbold officials confirmed that out of all the COVID-19 hospital admissions there have been no pediatric inpatients reported. 

Although children aren’t among the admitted hospital cases, Cooper added that the Delta variant has impacted more children than before the strain existed. 

“This last wave we’ve actually had a lot more kids that got sicker and had more complications this go-round than we’ve had before,” she said. 

This raises the risk for children going forward, especially for those who already have additional health issues. 

“Our concern is not only for preventing the simple infections but more importantly preventing the ones that really have the significant complications that they’ve ended up in the hospital and intensive care unit with longer complications,” Cooper said. 

Another ages 5-11 vaccine clinic for the second Pfizer dose is being planned, but for now Archbold will continue the 12 and up vaccine clinics on the first Wednesday of every month starting in December.

“I hope that less kids will be getting COVID, then less adults will get it from children,” Hughes said.

For more information about the clinics visit Archbold.org.

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