JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Some local pediatricians are encouraging parents to have their children 12 and older vaccinated against COVID-19 before starting school in the fall.
“You need to start that COVID-19 vaccination now so they can be fully protected before they go to school,” said Dr. John Gaudet.
The pediatrician said that although young people will return to the classroom for personal learning, it is still important to remember that we are still in a pandemic, so parents should have their children vaccinated to protect them from the unknown.
“Pfizer is authorized for use up to age 12. Moderna is authorized for children up to age 16, then Johnson and Johnson is for 18 years and older.”
Gaudet explained that while some children can become seriously ill, most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all. But they can spread this dangerous, contagious disease to vulnerable members of the community.
“The vaccines that we have appear to be good against the Delta variant, which appears to be the dominant variant in the United States. It is also the case that although the number of COVID-19 is falling, which is wonderful if it is.
However, it is becoming more common in younger people and we are seeing cases in younger people more and more as a percentage,” Gaudet said.
He encourages parents to talk to health professionals if they are concerned or hesitant about vaccinating their child. Since most COVID vaccines require two doses, he says now is the time to get the shot.
“They remember last year when the children had to be quarantined, when there were outbreaks in the schools. If your child is fully vaccinated against COVID an, let’s say someone in the seat next to them or the row next to them in their class gets sick with COVID. If your child has been vaccinated, they do not need to be quarantined, they can stay at school. I think if we can get more people vaccinated, we can put the pandemic behind us.”
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