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COVID-19: Help for Parents Deciding Whether to Have Their Younger Children Vaccinated

kid gets a shot Army Medicine FLICKR.jpg
Judy Schmidt, CDC
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Army Medicine FLICKR

Local pediatricians say parents should get their younger children vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.

They're preparing to help with the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine for five-to-11-year-olds as soon as next week.

More than 2,000 children in that age group were studied during and after receiving two, smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine, three weeks apart.

Dr. Swetha Kandula is a pediatrician who works for Community Health Care in the Quad Cities. She says vaccine side effects usually occur within six weeks. So parents should not worry about long term side effects. The FDA followed the progress of the kids in the study longer than that, and the side effects were minimal.

Genesis Pediatrician, Dr. Julie Stecher, says at first children didn't catch the coronavirus infection at the same rate as adults. But the Delta variant has narrowed that gap. Children have died from COVID-19, and she says during the pandemic, the coronavirus infection has become the 6th-8th leading cause of death.

And she and the other health care officials say the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risk of side effects.

Dr. Sachin Nunnevar, a UnityPoint Health Trinity pediatrician, says since the pandemic began, the number of children with mental health problems has increased. And getting kids vaccinated will help them develop, giving them confidence to play and be around other children and adults.

All three pediatricians have children from 5-to-11-years-old and plan to have them get the COVID-19 vaccine. They recommend parents call their children's doctor to make appointments.

The Rock Island County Health Department hopes to offer the kids vaccine next week by appointment.

More information is available in the video below and online at https://www.scottcountyiowa.gov/health/post/covid-19-press-briefing-november-1-2021, https://richd.org/, and your family health care provider. More information about the process of approving the Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids 5-11 years old is HERE.

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