Ask The Doctor – COVID-19 Vaccines for Children
Today’s questions are being answered by Dr. Stonewall McCuiston, Pediatrician with the Riverside Medical Group. Dr. McCuiston is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
I saw that COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for children under 5, why does my child need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at such a young age?
There is well-documented proof that vaccination minimizes the chance of hospitalization in children under the age of five. While severe cases of COVID-19 are typically not found within the pediatric population, they do still happen, and getting your child vaccinated is a good way to protect them from the virus and complications that can come along with it. Vaccinated children have less risk of becoming severely ill and hospitalized.
Many people with young children have been practicing physical distancing over the past two years to keep their families safe and this vaccine can offer some security to those groups.
Young children getting the vaccine helps to stop the spread in their communities. The more people that have the vaccine, the harder it is for the virus to spread. An unvaccinated person is more likely to contract COVID, in turn spreading it. The more viruses spread, the more different variants emerge, so mitigating the spread is helping to keep everyone safe.
How do I know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for my child?
The COVID-19 vaccine went through the same safety and vetting process that all vaccines go through. While some people express concern about the speed of approval, that is not something to worry about. Because this vaccine was being created to aid in a world health crisis there were more people than ever working to get this vaccine on its feet. All of these groups were working together toward a common goal of creating something that is safe and that will protect against this virus. There have been extensive clinical trials completed to prove that these vaccines are safe for children under the age of 5 and very effective at preventing them from getting the virus. These trials followed the children after receiving their doses to track their health after and they proved to be safe for this age group based on the same standards to which other vaccines are held. Ultimately, you are protecting your child along with your entire family and community by getting your child vaccinated.
For more information visit riversidehealthcare.org
(The information provided in this column is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.)