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‘I could barely feel it’ - Sault doctor’s seven-year-old son gets vaccinated for COVID (2 photos)

Pediatrician urges Sault and Algoma residents to vaccinate their children

“I could barely feel it,” said seven-year-old Toby Keuhl after receiving the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Pharmasave Adel's Pharmacy on Great Northern Road Tuesday afternoon.

The vaccine is now being rolled out across Canada for children five to 11 years old.

Toby’s father, Sault pediatrician Dr. Jonathan Keuhl, held Toby’s hand as he received the shot from Adel Saleeb, Pharmasave Adel's Pharmacy owner and pharmacist.

Dr. Keuhl invited the media to attend his son’s vaccination.

“I just wanted to get the word out there, to show that as a pediatrician and as a parent, how important the vaccine is for children five and up,” Keuhl said.

“This vaccine is safe for this age. There’ve been no serious side effects. There were over 3,000 children that were in the study for the immunization. It’s effective for preventing serious illness, effective for preventing hospitalization and death, even in children this age, especially for those at risk, and it’s important to help with the prevention of the spread and transmission of the virus, to protect the children and protect our loved ones, those who are vulnerable in our community, and also to make sure that the kids can continue with in school learning.”

In-school learning is a big part of it, Keuhl said.

“(Remote learning) is definitely not the same. They need the in-person learning, they need the peer support, and the teacher’s right there.”  

“I understand there are many different reasons why people are hesitant (to be vaccinated), so this is why I’m hoping having this done (with reporters present) will tell the community that as a pediatrician and as a father of a young child that this is important and that it’s safe. It’s effective and can help us with this pandemic in many different aspects,” Keuhl said.

“I feel okay (about getting vaccinated),” young Toby said before receiving his shot.

“He was zip lining in British Columbia just before Thanksgiving, on a huge zip line over a huge forest, no problem. He’s pretty brave,” said Dr. Keuhl, who received his COVID booster shot after Toby was vaccinated.

An interval of at least eight weeks between the first and second dose is recommended for children five to 11 years old. 

Information on the COVID-19 vaccination for children, including advice for parents, possible side effects of the vaccine and how to arrange a time and place for children to be vaccinated, can be found on the Algoma Public Health (APH) website.