DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — COVID cases are rising again and the vaccination push continues in Pennsylvania.

For months the question has lingered, will covid transition from a pandemic to an endemic and become something we’ll just learn to live with?

On Wednesday, state leaders met with health experts about the importance of preschool pediatric vaccinations now that they’re available.

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“So just happy to be a little bit safer now and have the last one in the family vaccinated,” McKinney said.

Erin McKinney is a mother of three and says one of her daughters had a challenging battle with the COVID-19 virus.

All of her children are protected by the vaccine even her two-year-old son Malakai who just got his dose of the Moderna vaccine.

“I know a lot of the pharmacies won’t do ones under three so it’s harder to find someplace, but just so relieved,” McKinney said.

Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson says health experts would like to see more parents coming in with their young children to get these pre-school pediatric vaccinations.

“These vaccines are safe and highly effective and so we really would recommend that everyone get vaccinated so we are certainly not seeing the uptick we would like to see yet for the preschool pediatric vaccine that uptick has been slower than the other vaccine for kids five and older,” Dr. Johnson said.

But when it comes to the so-called “endemic” infectious disease professionals say that’s not likely to happen due to different variants that keep arriving.

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“So, I think we are going to continue to see COVID circulate for the rest of our lives and I think we’re going to continue to see mutations of covid for the rest of our lives,” infectious disease specialist with UPMC Dr. Goldman said.

“I know there has been a lot of discussion about what endemic really means, certainly COVID is not going away any time soon we’re going to have to live with it,” Dr. Johnson said.

The best way to stay protected is to get yourself and your loved ones vaccinated.

“But to have him done now we feel safe as a family,” McKinney said.

Currently, Dr. Johnson says these vaccines are not a requirement at all schools in the State.

They are available on Wednesdays at the Dauphin County State Health Center located at 30 Kline Village in Harrisburg.


The pre-school vaccinations are free and you do not need an appointment.