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Maine's youngest children begin getting COVID vaccine

On Tuesday, children six months to five years began getting COVID vaccine in Maine.

SANFORD, Maine — Parents have been waiting for more than two years to get their kids a COVID shot, and now they can.

"While most small children have only mild disease if they are infected with COVID, there are some who have severe disease, and unfortunately, in this age category, there are children who have died from COVID," Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light Health said.

He said getting children vaccinated adds another layer of protection. Dr. Dora Mills at Maine Health agreed, but they both acknowledge that there is some hesitancy from parents.

"The one pushback I've heard is that some parents have said, at least on social media, that it's a pretty mild disease in kids. And I just want to say it is not," Mills said.

In Sanford, the York County Emergency Management Agency is already vaccinating children six months to five years old.

"We've had a lot of interest in this age group," Megan Arsenault, deputy director of the York County Emergency Management Agency, said. 

Staff and volunteers are trying to make it a comfortable environment for children of all ages with coloring, stuffed animals, and movies.

"We understand children under the age of five, this is probably not their favorite place to be," Arsenault said.

She added while kids might not enjoy being there, they have had a lot of interest from parents. Jarvis said he expects Northern Light will start administering vaccines on Monday, and Mills says Maine Health will begin this week.

Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long said Maine is set to get 24,400 vaccines between both Pfizer and Moderna this week.

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