Sun Aug 7, 2022

Health department has given COVID-19 shots to two children under age 5 [free read]

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At Wednesday’s Board of Health meeting, nursing director Patti Nance reported that the Columbus County Health Department has begun offering COVID-19 shots to children between 6 months and 5 years of age since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccines for that age group on June 17.

Chair Pat Ray asked how children were responding to the vaccines. Director Kim Smith revealed that, so far, the department had only administered two vaccines among this age group.

“As long as you don’t slap a band-aid on them, they’re fine,” Smith said. 

She explained that one of the two children was a 3-year-old who kept asking his mother, “Is it going to hurt? Is it going to hurt?” and when the nurse revealed that she had already administered the shot and was about to place a band-aid on his arm — an unmistakable sign, in his mind, that he had been injured — that’s when he actually started crying, said Smith.

Nance said that vaccine clinics at the health department, located at 304 Jefferson St., are available on Tuesdays and Fridays. The department asks that you call ahead to set up an appointment at 910-640-6615 but said that walk-ins are also welcome.

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COVID-19 threat level

In February, the Centers for Disease Control changed how it tracks the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Instead of basing COVID-19 community levels on the number of reported cases, as was done earlier in the pandemic, the updated framework now tracks hospitalizations.

Nance noted that while Columbus County’s COVID-19 community levels are at low alert, neighboring Bladen, Brunswick and Robeson counties are at medium alert and Horry County, S.C. is at high alert. Pender County’s status is also listed at low alert.

There are currently three coronavirus-related hospitalizations at Columbus Regional Healthcare System, said Nance, and none elsewhere “that we’re aware of,” interjected Smith. 

Look for expanded coverage of the Board of Health meeting in Tuesday’s edition of The News Reporter and on NRcolumbus.com. 

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