COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids: With Millions of Kids Eligible to Get the Vaccine, St. Jude Top Doctors Say Now Is the Time to Get Vaccinated by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
With millions of Americans already vaccinated against the coronavirus, Dr. James R. Downing, president and chief executive officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Michael Wiggins, DBE, FACHE, president of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, and Dr. Steve J. Schwab, chancellor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, have a message for those adult Americans and their children who are not: “Please get vaccinated and get your children vaccinated.”
“Children are the last group vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Dr. Downing. “Now is the time for not only all adult Americans get the vaccine, but it is essential parents take their children to get vaccinated. The three available vaccines are safe and effective and will help us achieve herd immunity so life can get back to normal. All adults and eligible children should get the vaccine as soon as possible.”
In a recent Daily Memphian: Vaccinating children against COVID will help them get back to normal, the three health-care CEOs wrote:
"The COVID-19 pandemic challenged all of us, but hope is on the horizon. With vaccinations on the rise and case counts dropping, we’ve reached a turning point in the fight against COVID-19. But our patients, our community, our nation and the world need your help.
"Please get vaccinated and get your children vaccinated.
"Since December 2020, when COVID-19 vaccinations became available in the U.S., hundreds of millions of people have been vaccinated. The side effects have been minimal, and the benefits have been dramatic. Viral spread has declined significantly in communities near and far.
"The recent regulatory approval for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children 12 years and older will also go a long way toward gaining further ground against COVID-19.
"Vaccinating children will help protect them from infection and reduce the chance that they spread the virus to others, including the elderly and the immunocompromised.
"This will also help kids get back to normal and return to in-person classes and group activities. The many disruptions caused by the pandemic included routine doctor visits. Be sure to schedule a well-child visit and ensure that required vaccinations are up to date before the school year begins in the fall.
"All three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S. are highly effective and safe. The best vaccine is the one that is available to you the soonest.
"In many regards, reaching this milestone in the battle against COVID-19 is a triumph of science. Work on vaccinations began early in the pandemic.
"In fact, within weeks of the initial cases, researchers mapped the full genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on that sequence, scientists worldwide went to work. Their efforts resulted in the quickest development and deployment of a vaccine in modern history.
"In December, both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, under Emergency Use Authorization. Approval came after the vaccines demonstrated better than 90 percent protection from severe disease. Only a few months later, the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine was approved.
"Since the start of the pandemic, we have all wrestled with difficulties, pushed through disappointment and even grappled with loss.
"Now, with vaccines readily available, together, we can stop COVID-19. As scientists, health-care providers, parents, spouses and proud Mid-South residents, we’re counting on you to help us move forward. On behalf of the patients we serve, thank you for doing your part by getting vaccinated and helping build a better future for our community and our children."
Will you get your child vaccinated? Share your thoughts below.
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