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‘Life changing’: Mother of immunocompromised 5-year-old daughter ready to get her vaccinated against COVID-19

5-year-old Keren Wilensky will be in line to get the shot as soon as it is available.
5-year-old Keren Wilensky will be in line to get the shot as soon as it is available.(N/A)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 5:50 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Advisors to the CDC voted to recommend the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 Tuesday night.

After the vote, the CDC director has to sign off on it before it becomes official.

Local vaccine providers are preparing to receive shipments of the vaccine.

Mecklenburg County Public Health received its first shipment on Tuesday.

Health providers like StarMed in Mecklenburg County are already accepting pre-registration.

“We have over 10,000 children with parents who have already signed them up for the vaccine so we’re ready to go,” StarMed CEO Mike Estramonte told WBTV on Tuesday.

Estramonte says they are gearing up to receive tens of thousands of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11.

It’s a third of the dose given to older age groups and is also administered with a smaller needle.

“Our staff will have different colored uniforms, there will be a different colored tent,” Estramonte said. “We have everything prepared so that there’s no mix up between the adult dose and children’s dose.”

Among the parents in line to get their kids this protection is Charlotte mom Rochelle Wilensky.

“It is life-changing for our family,” Wilensky said. “We have been counting down the days until our daughter turns five and she just turned five.”

Her daughter Keren has a rare genetic autoinflammatory disease.

For much of the pandemic, she has been isolated.

“Not able to go to preschool, not able to have playdates, not able to go inside any buildings at all,” she said.

She has recently been able to return to school due to the mask requirement, but getting the shot will mean so much more for her.

“We said it will be no different than your other shots and once you get that vaccine your body will build up protection and that means it’s safe for you to go play!” she said. “So she’s very excited about it.”

Wilensky hopes even if your child is not high risk, that you will trust your pediatrician and do it for the safety of everyone.

“They’ve gone through so much training to be able to do what we ask them to do,” she said. “We ask them to save our lives, they do it. If we trust them to save our lives, if we trust them to help us when we get sick, we should trust them when they help us with preventative things to help us not get sick.”

StarMed is offering the vaccine for children at 17 sites across the county. Click here to sign up.

Mecklenburg County Public Health is offering the vaccine for children at events on Saturday, November 6th. Click here for more information.