Parents eager to vaccinate young children describe painful waits

Julian, son of Tyfanee Pratt, was born in November 2019 in Burlington, NJ. Eventually, Pratt was ready to introduce him to the world. But then she wrote, “Covid-19 closed our door, trapped us and hid the key.”

In response to a call to a New York Times reader, Pratt asked the infant’s parents about living with an unvaccinated baby, toddler, or preschooler.

“His father and I were members of his cell,” she wrote to the Times, adding that the experience almost destroyed their relationship.

According to a recent study, Pratt is an estimated one in five parents of children under the age of five who are worried that the Food and Drug Administration will grant the youngest American a coronavirus vaccine. That age group, with about 20 million children, is the only group not yet eligible for shots.

A committee of experts advising the FDA will vote Wednesday to recommend that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines be approved for infants. If the answer is yes and the rest of the process happens soon, you might start taking shots as soon as Tuesday.

Studies show that most parents are less enthusiastic about vaccination of young children. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey this spring, two in five parents will wait for how the vaccine works for others before deciding what to do. increase. In addition, 38% said their children would never be vaccinated or would only be vaccinated when needed.

“Children’s mortality is very low and we’ve already had a match against the Covid omicron version, so it should be okay for a while,” a New York City parent wrote in the Times. “Unless children under the age of five have more dire consequences, wait until they are five years old to get vaccinated.”

Adrian Bryant of Willowbrook, who has an infant and a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, said that vaccination of young children was “not sold”, explaining: , And she was ill, but she quickly bounced off. “

But for parents like Pratt who want to vaccinate their children, waiting is a pain.

Over 1,600 parents answered Times calls within 24 hours last month. The overflow of thoughts and emotions reflects how they and their children suffered emotionally, socially and economically without access to pediatric vaccines. Here are some ways they explained the wait: Hell. Brutal. torture. That’s horrible. terrible. It’s sad.

“I lost most of my work and heart,” wrote one parent. “I halved my income,” another said. “It’s the most difficult time in my life.” “I feel helpless and hopeless.” “I’m very lonely. I cry when I’m writing this.” “Every time I cough. And I’m crazy. “

“We are not making memories.” “My children are missing out on being children.” “I have been breastfeeding for 20 months to give her some immunity.” “It’s like trying to protect them from avalanches.”

Many parents have expressed distress that their children may suffer from developmental delay because they have never experienced play days or normal contact with children of their age.

“When my 2.5-year-old kid took his first friend to play, he kept touching her to see if she was real,” wrote Lauren Klinger in St. Petersburg, Florida. I am.

Angela Smith, a former web designer who founded a non-profit organization called Pantry Collective, is now a housewife for a 2-year-old girl in Colorado Springs. “She doesn’t know everything she misses. I’m grateful for that,” Smith writes. “But I do, and it makes me sad.”

Many write about how the pandemic exposed social divisions, lack of trust in government and public health, and lack of empathy for others. A mother in New York City wrote that she and her toddler often wait 20 minutes to use the elevator in the apartment for themselves, rather than risking riding with unmasked passengers. ..

Denver’s parents wrote: “We are a country of selfish children, except for the children themselves.”

Katinerve, a three-year-old mother of information technology workers in McKinney, Texas, said: I have symptoms but I don’t want to be tested. And I know so many people are doing those things while my kids aren’t protected, forcing my family to live in lockdown after two and a half years. It has been. “

Alli Chan is a pediatric intensive care nurse in St. Louis. Her husband is an emergency doctor. Their youngest is almost 3 years old. Their 6 years old have immunodeficiency.

She and her husband felt so strongly about protecting their children that they told relatives that they would only meet them if they were vaccinated. “We need to protect our children. If the extended family isn’t willing to do so, we will protect them too,” she writes.

Kristen Green Wiewola of Sircy, Ark, said that other people in her town did not share concerns about the spread of the infection in public indoor spaces and had their children aged 4 and 8 years old. He said it was difficult to keep the mask on.

“We are the only ones who are still obscuring unvaccinated children,” she writes. “I have relied on paying $ 1 each time my kids wear masks in public indoor locations.”

Pratt’s son Julian is now 2½ and is interested in everything. She checked what other Americans missed when they were vaccinated and “returned to the comforts of familiar everyday life and freedom of everyday life.”

“He has never been to a grocery store or a shopping street,” she writes. “I’ve never had a trick or treat with my friends. I’ve never sat on Santa’s lap. I’ve never been to an indoor family gathering. He’s still met with the majority of our friends and family. I don’t spend time or spend time.

“We are inside and looking out,” she writes.

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