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Some hesitant parents agree to get COVID-19 vaccine from their child's pediatrician

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Since COVID-19 vaccines became available, government leaders, non-profits, health authorities and others have looked for ways to inform and encourage people to overcome their hesitations to get the shots.

The Golisano Children's Hospital pediatric practice recently found some success by offering the vaccines to not only eligible children, but also the parents and caregivers who bring them in for their office visits.

"Those who are more hesitant need someone that they trust to discuss it with them and a pediatrician is a very trusted source of information about vaccines," said Dr. Andrea Milne Wenderlich, a UR Medicine pediatrician.  She added that many caregivers see their child's pediatrician more often than their own physician.

To date, the practice has innoculated 1,400 people agianst COVID-19. Milne Wenderlich said about a quarter of them were parents. 

The practice serves more than 13,000 patients. Many of them live in high poverty sections of the city of Rochester.

Additional staff was brought in to implement the plan as parents and caregivers were offered the opportunity to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with a physician, nurse, social worker or behavioral health specialists.

Milne Wenderlich said there were various reasons why some adults were hesitant to get the shot at first.

"We hear from a lot of people that they've read things on the internet that make them really scared", she explained, "or that they've heard from friends or families about side effects that make them really worried."

Others had problems with transportation or said they were previously unable to take time off from work.

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear more of the conversation with Dr. Andrea Milne Wenderlich.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.