LOS ANGELES - A stranger left a hateful message for a pediatrician, saying she should be "jailed" and have her "license revoked" for giving kids the COVID-19 vaccine.
Owner of Miracle Mile Pediatrics Dr. Monica Asnani is swamped with kids coming in for the Pfizer shot, now available for 5 to 11-year-olds. Her nurses gave the vaccine to 50 patients in a four-hour window Friday afternoon, two and a half times more patients than she would normally see in that timeframe.
"The vaccine is wonderful," said Dr. Asnani. "It’s a modern miracle of science and we’re just happy to provide it to those who really want it and have been waiting 18 months to get this."
But not everybody is happy about it. A woman whose voice she didn’t recognize left a message on her office phone Thursday that said, "You need to have your license revoked and you should be in jail. COVID is not a threat to kids. Kids die from the flu six times more than COVID. You are disgusting and you should be (expletive) jailed."
"It’s very disheartening that we’re the object of such vitriol when we’re all were doing is trying to keep our patients safe," said Dr. Asnani. "The COVID virus does not affect kids as bad as it affects adults but it affects kids at random and we never know which one is going to be hospitalized, which one is going to have long COVID or MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children)."
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Frances Petty, 10, was one of Dr. Asnani’s vaccine recipients Friday.
"I feel better and just safer," said Petty. "You can have play dates with your best friend in the house without masks now," added her mom, Sarah Langan.
"I think getting the vaccine is better than having COVID," said Nico Robinson, 9, as he and his siblings received the shot. "It just felt like a sharp pinch."
Dr. Asnani says many of her colleagues around the country are dealing with hate similar to her voicemail. She says it’s hard and, at times, scary. But that she’ll continue doing what she truly believes in.
"I just feel a higher level of comfort now that she got the first shot," said Langan. "I’ll feel better when she’s had the second shot and everybody in the house will have been vaccinated."
"I’m feeling really good," added Petty, as she showed off her band-aid. "I’m feeling relieved."
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