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Louisville toddler gets vaccine; parents speak on her experience

One local toddler’s parents speak on their two-year daughter’s experience getting the BioNTech, Pfizer vaccine COVID-19 vaccine and being a part of the trail.
Norah Nitzken, 2, with her mother, Hannah Nitzken. Norah was entered into the Pfizer COVID-19...
Norah Nitzken, 2, with her mother, Hannah Nitzken. Norah was entered into the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial by her parents for two reasons: to keep their daughter safe, and to be a part of the solution.(Source: Mark Wilson, WAVE News)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 8:26 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The parents of a Louisville toddler parents spoke on their two-year daughter’s experience getting the BioNTech Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and being a part of the trial.

Kids six months and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration greenlighted the Moderna for children ages 6 months to 6 years and the Pfizer kid shot for children ages 6 months to 5 years old on Friday and the CDC recommended them Saturday.

The Moderna vaccine is two doses, spaced a month apart. Pfizer’s vaccine will be in three doses and the the first two doses will be spread three weeks apart, then the third dose will be given two months later.

Norah Nitzken is two years old. She was born at the beginning of the pandemic in May 2020.

“Our baby shower was scheduled for the first weekend that everything shut down, and it was kind of the first of many events that we sort of missed out on,” said Hannah Nitzken, Norah’s mother.

Norah’s parents said they put her in the trial for two reasons: to keep their daughter safe, and to be a part of the solution. Hannah Nitzken said her daughter got her first shot, which was later revealed to be a placebo, last summer. Norah got the real thing in February and her last dose on May 10.

Hannah said the process was rigorous, full of daily logs, check-ins and COVID tests, but was totally worth it.

“She’s had no major side effects, she’s had many appointments to check on doing blood draws, checking symptoms and vitals,” Hannah Nitzken said. “She is happy, and healthy, and thriving. And we feel so much safer now, enjoying everything that this city and this world has to offer.”

The CDC says kids should get the COVID vaccine even if they’ve had COVID before. They also say it’s OK to get other vaccines at the same time.

“There’s been a narrative, I think, that maybe COVID is not a big deal in kids, but we know that’s not true,” a Norton Healthcare spokesperson said. “Some parents may say, ‘oh, ok, well my kid is healthy.’ But half of all kids hospitalized with COVID-19 are perfectly healthy.”

COVID-19 is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths in kids zero to 19 years old and for kids one to four years old, COVID-19 is the fifth most common cause of all deaths, according to Reigner.

Roughly 18 million children under 5 are eligible. If you have questions, Norton says you should ask your child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor.

Norton said they were expecting to get their first shipment Monday, about 10,000 to 11,000 doses, but due to a delay are now expecting it Wednesday and plan to open up appointments on Wednesday.

Norton is opening up more weekend appointments at their Audubon pop-up location.

To schedule an appointment for your kids, you can click here or here.

WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram...
WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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