“It’s terrifying for us” : Two Eastern Kentucky Pediatricians worry about increase in COVID-19 cases in children

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 4:33 PM EDT
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(WYMT) - Pediatricians are fighting on the frontlines each and everyday to protect our children.

“I love children. So in my medical school, I liked every rotation that I did but I realized that pediatrics made me happy and the kids were fun and they were healthy and I got to watch them grow. I think it was just the perfect fit for me,” said Pediatrician at Frontier Medical Associates in Floyd County Dr. Kate Shutts.

However, Pediatricians like Dr. Shutts are fighting a new battle, working to help sick children battle COVID-19 while also addressing misinformation.

“So I called and on the fourth phone call, I found a place to send this baby so I went home that night and I laid in bed and I thought what am I going to do with these kids when they get sick,” said Pediatrician at Frontier Medical Associates in Magoffin County Dr. Tasha Russell.

Russell said things are becoming grim as parents and healthcare providers like herself wait for a vaccine for children 12 and under.

“When these parents come to me they think that I can help fix or at least help them get the care they need for their kid. What happens when I can’t do that anymore? So it’s terrifying for us,” she said.

As the wait continues, both doctors who are also moms said they understand hesitancy.

“What’s going to make you feel the most worried? What’s going to make you sleep the least tonight? So for me, If I didn’t get my children this vaccine, if I hadn’t take it, I couldn’t sleep tonight. If it’s going to make you that sick to do it, than maybe you need some more information and talk to someone that you trust to see if it’s the right thing for you,” said Dr. Shutts.

However, they both encourage the public to look at the facts and to consider receiving the COVID-19 shot.

“I see kids that come into the office everyday with mental health issues from the quarantining, obesity issues from quarantining. I saw a study recently that type 1 and 2 diabetes has drastically increased since this pandemic,” said Dr. Russell. “There’s so much that we’re dealing with but I truly believe the only way that we can get back to normal is with this vaccine.”

Both Pediatricians said while they understand children under 12 cannot receive their vaccine yet, they encourage eligible family members to do so.

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