Hattiesburg pediatrician encourages vaccinations ahead of school year

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — With coronavirus cases rising again in Mississippi, a local pediatrician is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated.

Across the country, students will return to class next month. Pediatrician Dr. Anita Henderson said it is critical that parents get their children vaccinated to protect them from the new COVID-19 strains.

Henderson, who works at the children’s clinic in Hattiesburg, encouraged parents to talk to their doctor if they have concerns.

“I really encourage parents to go ahead and bring their child in and ask those questions to their pediatrician or GP, and protect them from the coronavirus,” she said.

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While children have the lowest risk of serious COVID-19 infection, Henderson said the clinic has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases among young people.

“Most of the Delta variant we see now is the median age around 20. So we’re seeing a lot more coronavirus cases in the younger population,” she said. “We worry that when school starts, it will spread even more into the younger age groups.”

Henderson said the benefits of getting the vaccine ultimately outweigh the risks.

“The most important thing I want parents to understand is that we want them to have a normal school year this fall. We want our children to be safe and protected, and this vaccine is now a tool that we can have in our toolkit to protect our children and the adults around them. So now is the time to go ahead and make that appointment with your pediatrician and get your child vaccinated.”

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