First lady Jill Biden visited Henrico Friday, promoting COVID-19 vaccinations for young children. She stopped by the county’s Health Department East Clinic on Laburnum Avenue with Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, to tout the benefits of the vaccine, which recently was approved for children ages 6 months to 5 years.
Biden toured the health center and talked with parents whose children were waiting for shots, including Tuckahoe residents Kyle Wendling and Cathy Marcelo. The couple had brought their 9-month-old son Patrick to be vaccinated.
“We have been anxious for Patrick to be vaccinated and are happy to have this protection for him,” Wendling said. “We know the process to develop a vaccine can take a while – the scientific process is always thorough. We know he has received a safe and effective vaccine.”
Jha acknowledged that additional time was needed to develop COVID-19 vaccines for the 6-month-to-5-year age group.
“These kids are not just small versions of adults; they have a different physiology,” he said. “But we now have two vaccines for this population, and they are both extraordinarily safe and effective,” he said, noting that Pfizer and Moderna have produced vaccines for young children.
Biden described a sense of anxiety that many parents have experienced during the pandemic, waiting for a COVID vaccine to become available for the youngest members of their families.
“From the day your sweet, fragile, little baby was born, you have made the choice again and again and again, to keep your child safe,” Biden said. “This vaccine is your choice too. So, make the decision to protect your children with the same vaccine that has already saved millions of lives because nothing, nothing is more important than our children’s health.”
Everyone 6 months and older can now get vaccinated. Learn more at https://henrico.us/health/.