EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s been almost two years since COVID-19 vaccines first rolled out. Nearly 630 million doses have been administered nationwide according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

But recently the vaccine has been added to the CDC’s list of recommended childhood vaccinations. So what does this new update mean?

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on immunization practices recommended updates to the 2023 childhood and adult immunization schedules. The CDC voted 15-0 to add most COVID-19 vaccines to childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization schedules.

The move is aimed to streamline clinical guidance for healthcare providers and schools. While one area pediatric group Eyewitness News spoke to is suggesting its patients follow the CDC’s updated vaccine guidelines, many parents remain vaccine-hesitant.

“Having this little young seed has been remarkable,” said Chris Calvey, a new dad from Clarks Summit.

Chris and Lauren Calvey of Clarks Summit are basking in the joy of their newborn, one-month-old Isabella Ember. Although the Calvey’s follow the CDC’s list of recommended childhood vaccines, they are spacing out the timing of when each vaccine is given.

“She’s gonna get all the vaccines that every other kid gets just given over a longer period of time,” said Lauren Calvey.

As for the COVID-19 vaccine, Isabella will be eligible at SIX months of age.

“COVID, the jury’s out on that. I’m not sure, I’m apprehensive, I’m scared,” explained Lauren Calvey.

That’s because Lauren had an adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine, and contracted COVID when she was 24 weeks pregnant.

“We worry what if she has the same response and she’s an infant. She’d have to deal with a rash I could barely deal with as an adult. It was internal, it was under my eye, it was scary,” Lauren Calvey added.

“Lauren having COVID while in utero gave her natural immunity. Having that in my mind is far superior than her having vaccines,” Chris Calvey continued.

The Calvey’s aren’t the only parents opposed to giving their young child the COVID vaccine.

At PAK Pediatrics in Kingston, although 1/3 of parents are vaccine-hesitant and nearly 2 percent are completely opposed to the COVID vaccine, Dr. Reymunde still suggests it.

“By now there has been a lot of research and it’s reassuring that the vaccine is definitely safe.
While covid may have a low mortality rate, the morbidity may be fairly high the severity of your illness can be pretty severe and the long-lasting effects of COVID can be severe,” explained Dr. Alvaro Reymunde, MD, a Pediatrician at PAK Pediatrics.

The COVID vaccine is not mandatory, only suggested. The CDC only makes recommendations for use of vaccines, while requirements for entering school are determined by local, or state jurisdictions.