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Months after isolating from newborn, respirologist says he wants kids vaccinated as soon as possible

Last Updated May 17, 2021 at 6:56 pm MDT

CALGARY — A respirologist whose seen some of the worst effects of COVID-19 says he’s vaccinating his young child and baby as soon as they’re cleared for a shot.

Dr. Jason Weatherald says he feared the worst when he and his three-year-old tested positive, just five days after his baby was born.

“And we’ve had several people in the same family hospitalized at the same time because of those exposures. Certainly, that was on my mind early on in our illness, was like whether or not my wife and the baby had been exposed, and whether they were going to get sick, so it was a very trying two weeks.”

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The doctor worked the second wave on the COVID unit at Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary, but now concentrates on patients experiencing long term effects, at a new clinic at the hospital.

His positive test came last August, and he spent the first two weeks of his newborn’s life isolated away from his wife and baby. They stayed at her grandmother’s empty apartment. Weatherald had mild symptoms while he isolated with his three-year-old son.

He says his family has been fortunate.

“There’s people my age and younger than me who are extremely disabled from the long term effects of this virus. And so, just another reason, I see every day the magnitude of the problem and the impacts that it could have on people and their families. And that’s why I think it’s important to vaccinate, really in anyone who’s eligible including children.”

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Pfizer and Moderna are running trials for their vaccines for children six months to 11 years. Weatherald says he’s waiting to see the results of these studies and recommendations from health agencies.

He says have some trust, but healthy skepticism is okay too.

“Once they’re shown to be safe and that they are approved for use, I think it’s important for us to pitch in. Take care of our families and take care of everyone else around us.”