Onslow County parents mixed, health department optimistic about getting children 5-11 vaccinated for COVID-19


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The White House recently released new guidance on vaccinating kids between the ages of 5 and 11. They are anticipating it will become available in the coming weeks. 

In Onslow County, there are about 118,000 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the age range of 12 to 17, there are about 3,000 children that are a part of that group. 

Pfizer is currently the only approved vaccine for children 16 and up, and approved for emergency authorization for children 12 and up. 

“It looks like that approval might come as early as the beginning of November, that would definitely increase our vaccination numbers and rates,” said Community Relations Officer for the Onslow County Health Department, Victoria Reyes. 

Reyes also shared that the county’s positivity rate has also gone down and is in line with the state. The Health Department recommends staying up to date with numbers with the CDC tracker. You can access that information here.

Officials say the process for this new guidance is still in its early stages, and if approved, there will be some adjusting when it comes to things like the future of vaccination clinics in the county. 

“We can educate our parents and at least get them to start having those open conversations with their pediatricians or with their significant others,” said Reyes. 

Some parents in the area are split. One parent said she’s getting her 11-year-old vaccinated as soon as she can. 

“My son has been waiting to be vaccinated, he wants to feel safe, he wants COVID to be over. He thinks this is the way out of it,” said Marcy Wofford, a mother of two. 

Other parents shared concerns about the legitimacy of the vaccine. 

“Oh, ‘get vaccinated, you won’t have to mask’ or ‘you know, get vaccinated and your life will return to normal,'” said Amanda Borque, also a mother of two. “And that’s just not the reality. I mean, people are having some really serious, adverse reactions to this. And nobody’s talking about it.”

“I’m very firm in the opposite way,” said Jennifer Henry, an Onslow County mother of three. “There is just not enough, there’s not enough good information on this thing to push this so heavily with the school-aged children.”

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