PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Dr. Gary Kirkilas has been on the front lines, fighting against COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. But last week the virus hit close to home. All four of his children, ages 7, 4, 2 and 2 months, all tested positive for COVID-19.
"We were absolutely very scared," says Kirkilas, a pediatrician with Phoenix Childrens Hospital. He says all four of his children developed a fever that progressed to a cough. "The Delta Variant is very infectious and when one child gets it, it's very easy for the next child to get it."
Kirkilas says he feels blessed all his children are now feeling better, and although the week was tough, he knows it could have been worse. "I can't imagine if me and my wife had COVID as well and then had to take care of the children." Kirkilas credits the vaccine for staying COVID-free, and he says it's great the shot could soon be available to children ages five and up. Today, Health experts say the vaccine could be available to children 5 to 11 years old by Halloween.
"As a mom and as a pediatrician I would recommend this vaccine for my own children, and I can't think of anything higher than that," says Dr. Anne Maiden-Hope, Vice Chair for Pediatrics at Midwestern University. She says it's great the vaccine could be available soon for school aged children, but she has a warning. "Even if the vaccine is available by Halloween, which would be amazing, it takes about two weeks before your children are fully protected. It's not a free-for-all; don't go crazy"