BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s been two weeks since the FDA signed off on vaccinating the youngest population eligible: children ages six months to five years old. 

Local pediatricians are seeing an increase in demand as they start to roll out the vaccine to this age group. 

With fewer vaccine clinics available, one doctor News 8 spoke with said pediatricians are seeing an overflow, and are coming up with different ways to meet the needs of their patients.

“We’ve waited and it feels like such a relief that it’s here,” Rochestarian and mother of two Erika Dooley said.

For parents like Dooley, the vaccine approval for children under five is welcome news. It means her youngest child can now be protected against COVID.

“It’s particularly a big relief because I’m immunocompromised and I have multiple sclerosis,” she said. “Knowing she is protected and that our family is fully protected as best we can is a huge relief.”

Dr. Edward Lewis of Lewis Pediatrics in Brighton said pediatricians are scrambling with the high demand to get the youngest group vaccinated. His office will begin its distribution on Tuesday.

“For Moderna, our 100 doses are already spoken for. For Pfizer, we’re filling up quickly,” Dr. Lewis said. “One of the things we’re seeing though, is we’re getting calls from other practices’ patients because they are unable to get the vaccine at their practice.”

To help with traffic flow, Dr. Lewis says his staff may implement a drive-up service for patients coming in for their first dose.

“We actually have put the boosters on hold so we can get the little kids immunized,” he said. “We’ve had the vaccine, it’s just a question of staffing and open time slots.”

While local COVID numbers remain low, Dr. Lewis said it’s tough to tell what the future holds. However, he said he’s optimistic.

“Last year, I thought we were past the hump when the numbers were so low and look what happened. This is a crazy virus. Hopefully, we’re going to be beyond it,” said Dr. Lewis. 

Dr. Lewis said that for vaccinations, most pediatricians will likely require appointments as opposed to walk-ins to help manage traffic at private practices. 

Parents interested in getting their children vaccinated — if they haven’t done so already — are encouraged to contact their family physicians directly.